As the new Psychedelic Furs single opens with the lyrical couplet, “Come all ye faithful / And shine a light on, shine a light on me,” it’s hard not to imagine a metaphorical line drawn to the “God will protect us” anti-masker agitators. Though surely the song was written before the publicly acknowledged onset of the coronavirus sometime earlier this year.
The track is titled, appropriately, “Come All Ye Faithful,” and is taken from Made of Rain (out July 31 via Cooking Vinyl), the first Furs album in 29 years. And some things indeed never change, as all the way back to 1980’s “Imitation of Christ,” frontman and symboliste post-punk poet Richard Butler has been getting up the backside of organized religion—something which seems especially exigent at this particular moment. Hardly surprising, faith has again gotten mixed up with the mission of science to protect us from our own apocalyptic catastrophes—the most recent of which has claimed nearly 150,000 American lives.
The words drip with Butler’s familiar and sneering brand of sardonicism, as he intones in his unmistakable aplomb-and-cigarette-stained but sensual snarl, “When I said I needed you I lied / I never needed anyone I laughed until I cried.” And it’s all set to a backdrop of grinding guitars, ghostly sax blasts and jittery, march-like beats. The singer recently told Rolling Stone the song was about, “looking for redemption in faith and riches”—and we certainly know how that mostly turns out.
The accompanying Imogen Harrison directed video shows an androgynous figure wandering lost in the woods, and racing towards a mysteriously flashing light. Which is not unlike what life has pretty much been like since our pandemic-motivated lockdown this past March.
For many, of course, The Furs were veritably a religion unto themselves. So at such a time as this, it’s just comforting to know that the church doors have been re-opened…and that in Made of Rain, there is a profound new book of hymns to guide us through yet another crisis of our own making.