UK-France duo The Noise Who Runs presents a short film, showcasing their new five-song EP ‘Come and Join the Beautiful Army’, which also includes the bonus instrumental track ‘Goalmouth Interlude’. Just shy of 20 minutes, the film was spawned from uncertainty over what the second and third singles would be after the opening track ‘One Scratch Each’. Ultimately, the idea to create a film for the EP as a whole, rather than just individual songs, seemed a more interesting challenge.

The Noise Who Runs revolves around songwriter Ian Pickering (of Sneaker Pimps and Front Line Assembly). Native to Hartlepool in the north-east of England, Pickering co-authored such Sneaker Pimps hits as ‘Spin Spin Sugar’, ‘6 Underground’ and ‘Tesko Suicide’. In 2019, he launched this project with Brazilian-French guitarist Felipe Goes, three years after relocating to Lille, France.

This dark, brooding and sometimes disquieting collection straddles the line between hope and despair, defeat and optimism. These contradictions are embodied in the more full-on electronic approach with a stripped, more keyboard-oriented sound largely absent of any overt electric guitars, and the almost casual, nursery rhyme abstract cynicism of the lyrics.

“There are themes and ideas running through all the songs and the film reinforces and highlights those. There are various images that are repeated or linked across the whole thing, sometimes as quite literal broad strokes to fit the lyrics and sometimes more abstract juxtapositions as well as more off the wall, poetic references,” says Ian Pickering.

This audio-visual element complements TNWR’s music with certain repeating visuals – swirling vortexes, tunnels, marching boots, protests, water, fire and ice – giving strong cohesion to the EP’s themes and raising the finished product comfortably beyond visualiser into art film territory.

Mixed and mastered by Colin C at The Cell Studio, this album follows their debut album ‘Preteretrospective’, released in April 2023 to rave reviews and airplay in more than 40 countries. Earlier, The Noise Who Runs released the singles ‘One Scratch Each’, ‘Mars Attached’ and ‘Tune Out, Turn Off, Drop In’.

Lyrics, arguably, are Pickering’s greatest strength and certainly the songs on ‘Come and Join the Beautiful Army’ only add to his reputation. Here we have genuine poetry; insightful, disarming, original and unique.

“This EP is a call for solidarity in a world constantly being sown with division and discord. So far, the start of the 21st Century seems remarkably like repeating the mistakes of the early 20th Century. In the First World War, all that flag-waving, jingoistic sense of and pride in nationality across Europe, the othering of governments and nations all engaged in the same exploitation of other continents, resulted in the most obscene and needless carnage and it feels today as if nothing has changed, save that rather than conscript us all and send us to France and Belgium for the slaughter, the big push would appear to be starving us to death in our own homes while we work all the hours of the day for a monthly wage that barely covers the cost of living,” says Ian Pickering.

“The beautiful army would be the people who reject the pathetic culture wars of populists, who proceed with compassion and empathy rather than instantly resort to knee-jerk outrage and sincerely believe that the some kind of optimistic future can still be salvaged from the slow motion chaos of the inevitable car crash in which we are currently forced to be passengers.”

‘Come and Join The Beautiful Army’ is out now, available from fine music platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp.

01 One Scratch Each
02 Tune Out, Turn Off, Drop In
03 Something in the Bones of Men
04 Vengeance is the Sweetener
05 Mars Attached

All songs written by Ian Pickering
Recorded and produced by The Noise Who Runs
Felipe Goes – guitars, pianos, keyboards
Ian Pickering – vocals, keyboards, pianos, beats
Mixing, mastering and additional production by Colin C. at The Cell Studio
Publicity by Shameless Promotion PR
Artist photos by Élodie Duhoo
Original front cover illustration ‘The Marching Boots’ by Alex Armitage