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Albums Of The Week: Pet Shop Boys | Nonetheless

Less is more as the iconic U.K. synth-pop duo balance minimalism and maximalism.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Nonetheless is Pet Shop Boys’ first with producer James Ford, who has previously worked with artists including Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode, Blur, Gorillaz and Simian Mobile Disco. The album also marks the duo’s return to Parlophone, the label which released their iconic and massively successful material spanning 1985-2012. Nonetheless features 10 new tracks, recorded and mixed in London last year, primarily at Ford’s London studio. The orchestra and backing vocals were recorded at The Church studio.

The music on Nonetheless is both uplifting and reflective, mixing electronics, live instruments and orchestral arrangements. The songs are melodic and quintessentially Pet Shop Boys, but with a fresh, open sound, bringing together classic strands of PSB songwriting and moving them in new directions.

“We’re very excited to release this new album,” vocalist Neil Tennant and keyboardist Chris Lowe say. “Its 10 tracks are the strongest indicators of where we are today. Like much of our music it’s very reflective. It was great to work with James Ford, who we think has brought new elements to our music. Our demos are sometimes quite complicated, and James has dared to make us a bit more minimal at times — but also, the string arrangements are very beautiful. Some of the record is quite heartbreaking, but we hope a lot of it is also uplifting. It’s a record we’re very proud of.

“We wanted this album to be a celebration of the unique and diverse emotions that make us human,” the duo continue. From the more dance-orientated tracks to the raw poignancy of the introspective ballads, with their beautiful string arrangements, each track tells a story and contributes to the overall narrative of the album.” Notably energized and driven by the huge resurgence spawned by their last trilogy of studio albums and the ongoing success of their Dreamworld: The Greatest Hits Live tour, Nonetheless is the sound of a group at a new peak of their remarkably consistent creative power.

Having sold in excess of 50 million records, Pet Shop Boys are easily the most successful U.K. duo of all time. Since their first No. 1 single West End Girls, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in April 2024, they have forged a singular path. BRIT Awards and Grammy nominations have been numerous. In 2009 they won the BRIT for Outstanding Contribution To Music; in 2000 their songwriting was rewarded with the Ivor Novello Award. With over 70 hit singles spanning five decades, songwriting remains resolutely at the core of Pet Shop Boys’ continuing relevance and success.

Their last three albums, recorded with producer Stuart Price, coincided with extended bouts of touring which saw the group headline Glastonbury for the third time, and toplining other major music festivals across the world. The duo also toured the U.S. in 2022 on the Unity tour with New Order, which saw them selling out arenas including Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Bowl. More dates for their Dreamworld tour have already been announced for 2024, including a headline slot at the Isle of Wight Festival.”