The Stars Align For MRCH

After playing shows with the likes of CHVRCHES and Foster The People, Phoenix-hailing alternative duo MRCH today get a new era underway as they share the new single Stars Align. The track previews their upcoming EP TV Bliss which follows in the autumn and represents their first release under a new deal with The Vertex.

MRCH (David Blakeman)

MRCH (David Blakeman)
MRCH (David Blakeman)

Operating at the convergence between driving, dynamic alt-rock and sleek synth-pop, Stars Align is capped by the star quality of vocalist/guitarist Mickey Pangburn’s voice, which takes it to another level. It’s at once joyful, escapist and cathartic, but with a simmering dark undercurrent that provides an edgy, unsettling tone.

Pangburn says: “You can’t control much more than how you respond to a situation. A lesson I’ve been learning. Stars Align is about still regaining a sense of agency in the midst of it all and not awaiting rescue”.

Stars Align is accompanied by its official video, which was directed by Mickey. Assembled via many long hours of meticulous green screening, it’s a performance video with an unusual artificial-meets-realistic aesthetic which feels like the surreal textures of Michel Gondry’s The Science of Sleep filtered through the fractured fuzz of ‘90s cable television. Check out the video below:

For the TV Bliss EP, Mickey and bandmate Jesse Pangburn (drums / production) embraced in-depth collaboration for the first time. Jimmy Eat World frontman Jim Adkins offered support and feedback to Mickey. The project was further developed with mixing courtesy of the Grammy-nominated Tony Hoffer (Depeche Mode, Metric, Chromeo) before being mastered by Dave Cooley (Wolf Alice, Tame Impala, Paramore).

The themes and wider aesthetic throughout the EP was inspired by Pangburn’s childhood passion for television. And just as she discovered new artists via syncs in Dawson’s Creek and Gilmore Girls, MRCH have themselves become soundtrack regulars in the streaming age with their songs featuring in Shameless, Guilt, The Vampire Diaries, Famous In Love, Search Party, 13 Reasons Why and The Twilight Zone.

As she explains, “TV Bliss is documentary deja vu. I grew up in Bagdad, Arizona. It’s a copper mine that even in its boomtown heyday was never home to more than three thousand people. Daytime reruns and ‘90s made-for-TV-movies were my escapism. They were a portal to the outside world, where things weren’t necessarily any better, but they were beautiful – imperfectly cinematic. When I started writing music, it matched these aesthetics, grainy, unpolished, but still vivid and romantic. It really wasn’t until the last couple years, dealing with the pandemic and then with back to back health scares with my parents, that I found myself revisiting that escapism – stepping back through the silver screen.”

Drawing upon influences such as Cocteau Twins, New Order, Metric, Phantogram, St. Vincent, Purity Ring and Beach House, MRCH have until now been an entirely independent band. It was that entrepreneurial spirit which led to them being discovered by The Vertex, after Mickey contacted the label’s co-founder Stephen Taverner in the hope of landing a support slot to London-based rockers Wolf Alice, who he manages. As that deal begins to open up new opportunities for MRCH, the duo’s music steps forward in tandem into the unknown, more accomplished, intense and emotionally engaging than ever before.

Pre-save/pre-order TV Bliss EP HERE.

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