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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Popcorn Fiend Channel Nine Inch Nails & Chvrches On Second Release From Forthcoming Debut Album

A Virtue is the new single from Popcorn Fiend, and the second track to be lifted from the Scottish musician's debut album Distance, which occupies a space somewhere between the industrial rock of Nine Inch Nails and the melodic synth-pop of Chvrches.
Credit Michael Greig

The new single was inspired by the vista photographed on the single cover, taken by the artist at the top of the iconic Schafberg mountain in Austria, and the track taps into synthwave and soundtrack influences as it sweeps over and above its own sonic scenery.

"A Virtue was the first track co-producer David R Simpson mixed and it set the template for the album," says Popcorn Fiend, aka Michael MacLennan. 

"He was integral in shaping the galvanising and ultimately soaring instrumentation, which reflects the origin of the track. 

"I was on Schafberg and living in Austria in the immediate wake of the Brexit vote, and being at a remove seemed both calming and discomforting. 

"It felt impossible to remove the beautiful from the melancholic, yet it felt as though that was exactly how it should be." 

Taking its cues from this, the video for A Virtue was also shot by MacLennan last month when he, his sister, and cousin climbed Beinn Alligin, one of the classic mountains of the Torridon region of the Scottish Highlands. 

Combining first-person footage with drone camera footage, the filming was almost stopped in its tracks on one of the wettest days of an already 'dreich' summer in Scotland.

"The conditions were so poor that by the time we got to the top I almost wished I hadn't bothered," says MacLennan. 

"We were completely soaked through, and the entire trip felt like a complete washout. 

"However, as we started making our way down the torrential rain finally stopped and the skies actually cleared – which meant we had some amazing views on the final stretch.

"I'm not sure I would ever have chosen to film on that day in retrospect, but the conditions actually mapped perfectly on to the track: dark (and extremely dank) conditions giving way to an epic and uplifting finale. 

"The parallels between Schafberg and Beinn Alligin couldn't have felt more fitting for the images I had in my head when I wrote 'A Virtue.'"

Popcorn Fiend's new single 'A Virtue' is out now. Debut album 'Distance' is released on 18th September 2020. CLICK HERE for more info on both releases. 

by: Mike Cobley


Environmental activists placed more than two-hundred pairs of shoes outside Hove Town Hall to symbolise the numbers killed or seriously injured every year in Brighton by air pollution and road traffic accidents.

Green councillors joined Brighton residents in Hanover and Elm Grove to create a 'pop-up parklet', a temporary mini-outdoor space with chairs, cushions, a rug, plants and decorations. 

Towner International - Eastbourne's Towner's inaugural contemporary art biennial - hopes to address how artistic communities are recording and responding to the economic, political, cultural, and environmental changes that are unfolding across the world today. 

Two Brighton-born digital companies are celebrating a joint nomination for a national award in recognition of their pioneering support for local loneliness charity, TogetherCo during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A community charity campaign, launched last month to support Sussex charities, not-for-profit groups and services that have felt the devastating financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, received an incredible response from the public who nominated local charities and then voted for the winner.

Paloma Faith wrote most of the songs for her forthcoming fifth album, Infinite Things, before the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world. Then the world went into lockdown, and she ripped them all up and started afresh. 

Death was a subject that had long fascinated Tunng's Sam Genders; a preoccupation not born out of the macabre so much as a curiosity about the fundamental purpose of existence — but also a hesitancy he had noticed around others' grief; a wish to be supportive in the right way, to say the right thing in the face of loss. 

Around one hundred mums, dads, kids and grandparents took part in the colourful family-friendly “bike swarm”, which began at The Level before progressing down the Old Steine, along Madeira Drive, then west to the West Pier.
Credit Magnus Andersen

Rising Icelandic singer-songwriter and one-time Brighton resident, Axel Flóvent, calls Reykjavík home, but also the inspiration behind his upcoming full-length debut, You Stay By The Sea
Credit Pooneh Ghana

Having used the internet as their playground in pioneering ways for the last six months, Glass Animals have decided to reimagine their live show to create a one-time-only virtual gig/experience. 

A cutting-edge series of video masterclasses aimed at demystifying the process of writing music for young people has launched. 
Credit Olivia Rose

Mercury Prize 2020 shortlisted Kiwanuka looks inward and out, across widescreen sonic landscapes constructed in recording studios in London, Los Angeles and New York, and provides a showcase for the honey-poured mahogany of Michael Kiwanuka's voice.

Entrepreneurial theatre performers from Sussex could be among those to benefit from a much needed lifeline to artists whose careers have been left devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Credit Jodie Canwell

"I love where I live," says Teesside-born singer-songwriter Tom Joshua. "It's a rousing group of towns to be from – these songs just wouldn't exist away from home."

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