13 March 2020 (released)
17 February 2020
According to The Academy Of Sun frontman Nick Hudson, 'The Parts That Need Replacing' is his attempt "to sate my desire to 'reconsecrate' 16th Century Hungarian countess and noblewoman Elisabeth Bathory, whose reputed cannibalism and serial murders were most likely reputation-staining fantasies dreamed up by the church out of institutional jealousy." My goodness.
You might reasonably expect such a topic to be explored via the medium of some sprawling prog/black-metal odyssey (indeed, a long-extinct Swedish metal band adopted the Countess' name as their own), but TAOS have channelled this inspiration into three and a half minutes of melodic indie-pop.
Hudson himself sings rather like Damon Albarn at his most languid, and indeed 'The Parts...' wouldn't sound out of place amongst Blur's more experimental, late-90s efforts. Add some swirling harmonies in the chorus, and a guitar line that is guaranteed to take up residence in your head, and it's safe to say that Bathory herself would be honoured.
It also makes for a fine appetiser for TAOS's forthcoming album 'The Quiet Place' - a fifteen-track opus that, on this evidence, should be well worth your time and ears.