Dutch Uncles, Manchester’s much-revered electro-art rock quartet has enjoyed a good year, having toured on the back of releasing their long-awaited sixth album, True Entertainment.
Taking inspiration from Yellow Magic Orchestra, Steely Dan, Ennio Morricone, The Blue Nile, Kate Bush and Roxy Music, True Entertainment behaves like it knows it’s been away for some time, and doesn’t apologise for that,” jokes vocalist and lyricist Duncan Wallis. “Ultimately, it’s written with the mindset that on our sixth album, we’re only in competition with ourselves when it comes to finding satisfaction in our craft.”
True to this mantra, True Entertainment bears some of the most delightful Dutch Uncles music to date; paired with some of their most existential and introspective lyrics. What is success? Am I enough? How can I better? (and can I even afford to be better?).
While Robin Richards remains Dutch Uncles’ principal composer, the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 prompted other members to contribute musical ideas, the result being their most collaborative album to date. Friends, Jonathan Higgs (of Everything Everything) and Anna Prior (of Metronomy) were recruited as guest vocalists.
This is evidenced further by Henry Broadhead and Neil Wright (live synth player and live guitarist, respectively) stepping up to production duties alongside the band themselves. Henry Broadhead also mixed the album with Andrew Proudfoot, which Matt Colton mastered (Pet Shop Boys, Christine and the Queens et al.).
True Entertainment is the long-awaited follow-up to Big Balloon (2017). This album spawned three playlisted singles on BBC Radio 6 Music and enjoyed widespread acclaim from the likes of Uncut (“a high flying triumph” 8/10), The Guardian (“its songs barge in with urgency” 4*), The Quietus, DIY, Exclaim!, Q, Under the Radar and many, many more.
Dutch Uncles cap off a great year with a special homecoming Christmas show at Yes.