Synth-pop pioneers Soft Cell have announced their first album in two decades, ‘Happiness Not Included’.
The ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’ duo – comprising Marc Almond and Dave Ball – went their separate ways with one final gig at The O2 in London in 2018.
However, they later reunited and hit the studio to record a follow-up to 2002’s acclaimed LP ‘Cruelty Without Beauty’.
The upcoming LP is set for release on February 25, 2022, and was recorded amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On the themes running through the record, Marc said: “In this album I wanted to look at us as a society: a place where we have chosen to put profits before people, money before morality and decency, food before the rights of animals, fanaticism before fairness and our own trivial comforts before the unspeakable agonies of others.
“But in the album there is also a belief that there is a utopia if we can peel back the layers and understand what really matters.”
Dave hailed the collection as “Science fiction stories for the 21st century”.
The instrumentalist revealed in April that the pair were back in the studio again.
He said at the time: “Before the O2 show, Marc and I hadn’t seen each other in about 15 years.
“In the years between, we’ve started to sound mature.
“The new songs are still catchy, but a lot more worldly-wise.”
He added that the pair are not aiming to top the charts with their new LP.
On what fans can expect from the album, the 62-year-old star continued: “We haven’t tried to write another ‘Tainted Love’. Maybe we should!
“But it’d be inappropriate for two 60-something men to try to write bouncy little pop numbers.
“That doesn’t mean we’ve become miserable, and it’s not heavy industrial music either.
“I’d say the songs are sounding quite minimal, melodic and bass-driven.
“I’m really pleased with how it’s coming along, it’s sounding great.”
The track-listing for ‘Happiness Not Included’ is:
1. ‘Happy Happy Happy’
3. ‘Bruises On My Illusions’
4. ‘Purple Zone’
5. ‘Heart Like Chernobyl’
6. ‘Light Sleepers’
7. ‘*Happiness Not Included’
8. ‘Nostalgia Machine’
10. ‘I’m Not A Friend Of God’
12. ‘New Eden’