Barcelona-based A Permanent Shadow released their debut album Songs of Loss

Band’s lead singer, CP Fletcher

45 years rolled into 45 minutes. This pretty much sums up Songs of Loss, the debut album by A Permanent Shadow. A name that refers equally to areas of the moon untouched by sunlight, the after effects of nuclear disaster and human skin peculiarities, for the band’s founder it represents melancholy, nostalgia and other sentiments usually traceable on the less sunny side of human life.

The ten songs on the album take us on a musical journey through the life of its creator that englobes New Wave, Synthpop, Funk Punk and Indie Rock. Lyrically, the record portrays the lives of personalities that have inspired the author, some of them very close, some of them family, others fictitious. True to the album title, there is a general lyrical bleakness palpable in most of the songs. Losing faith, the fear of solitude and experiencing failing health are some of the themes the album explores. A sixteen-year-old might not relate to them. People of a certain age and experience hopefully will.

But Darkness is not necessarily a bad thing, according to the band’s lead singer, CP Fletcher. “I’ve always been drawn to the darker aspects of human life as a lyricist. Darkness can be a healing force. If you manage to come out of the dark, there’s always a reward in the end. Life can be very rewarding.”

There are indeed glimpses of hope on the record, such as in the “carpe diem song” Now, the album’s third single after Empty and Fool. The song, as its predecessors, arrives with a stunning video directed by Spanish horror movie director Dani Moreno. “All in all there will be four videos to promote the album”, says CP Fletcher. “They all have a common thread in that the look and feel is somewhere between Fritz Lang’s metropolis and 1980’s C horror movies. I met the director through a friend and we hit it off immediately. We share the vision that though things can be obscure lyrically, you can inject some quirky humor in the visual presentation.”

The video for Now shows CP Fletcher in three different disguises: TV personality/self help guru, narrator as well as suburban suicidal gun fanatic. For Fool he slipped into the role of a priest who loses his faith and mental sanity, while the video for Empty sees him strapped to a chair in an asylum, an astronaut floating through space and an awkward dancer.

The band’s first single Empty was released in June and is a short burst of Electropop. In spite of nods to 80’s Dark Wave and 90’s Dance Rock, APS are not a nostalgic proposition. “We wear our influences happily on our sleeves, but in the studio we were trying to add something new and current to our music, and I think we achieved that quite successfully”, adds Fletcher.

A Permanent Shadow is a band for want of a better description. Its only fixture is CP Fletcher who for the recording of the record surrounded himself with a rotating cast of musicians. A drummer in a succession of unsuccessful bands, after another stint in a band that would go  nowhere at all, the now 45-year-old CP decided that enough was enough and started work on his own songs. “Releasing a debut album now is pretty late in the game, I know. But it took me a long time to realize that my place was not behind the drums. I never felt self-confident enough to become a frontman until a couple of years ago.”

The finishing touches in the studio were provided by renowned producer Valentín Nieto. The album was recorded in Barcelona over the course of several months from Spring to Autumn 2018, with co-writer Albert Català on piano, synthesizers and keyboards and Valentín Nieto covering guitar, bass and additional keyboards. Musicians from the local Rock and Jazz scene contributed additional instruments and backing vocals.

Self-doubt has not completely disappeared from Fletcher’s horizon. Is there a place in today’s music industry for a man in his forties releasing his debut album? “It seems almost anachronistic to release an album in the current musical climate. But honestly, I don’t care. I grew up with albums that were heralded by a couple of singles and some cool videos. I’m a child of the MTV era and I wanted relive the excitement of an album release. I’m not a fan of today’s release policy. I find EP’s rather lame.”

CP took his first steps as a frontman forming a Lou Reed tribute project, The Magic and Loss Orchestra. Such is his admiration for the curmudgeon from New York that the tribute experience ended up bleeding into A Permanent Shadow via a cover of Sword of Damocles, originally featured on Reed’s Magic and Loss album and included on Songs of Loss in reworked form. The album also features a reading of See the Lights by another of CP’s heroes, Simple Minds. Both fit seamlessly into the record’s overall themes of loss and reflection. And speaking of heroes, an ode to CP’s biggest hero, David Bowie, is the album’s centerpiece. Sailor contemplates the influence of Bowie not just on CP but on various generations of misfits, as well as the impact of his untimely passing.

What does the future hold for A Permanent Shadow? “We are already working on the second album which I hope will be recorded towards the end of the year. And I would really like to tour. I love performing and would love to be able to take our Songs of Loss to as many places as possible.”

Though the group was featured in recently released Lifoti's September 2019 issue 09, you can check it from below link's for your country:

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