Feature, News, Reviews

Symbol Soup Shares New Single “Gameshow” – Debut Album Due 21st July via Sad Club Records

July 3, 2023
Credit: Sirus Gahan



Ahead of the release of his highly anticipated debut album later this month, singer/songwriter Symbol Soup is back with a cinematic new track, ‘Gameshow’, out now on London tastemaker label Sad Club Records.

One of the earliest songs Michael wrote as Symbol Soup, ‘Gameshow’ is laced with summery melodies and an evocative horn section. Telling a story of young love and hallucinogens, it really highlights his skill as a songwriter, combining metaphor and wit to conjure up a beautiful story.   

“Very simply it’s about being 17 and falling in love” Michael explains. “It centres around an early date with my girlfriend Christy where we took legal highs together, and I had this literal hallucination of being on a gameshow and growing into a person. I also did gift her an unsolicited CD copy of Nick Drake’s Pink Moon in a very soft boi move. Looking back I think it captures a nice moment of being on the cusp of young-adulthood, changing a lot together, and realising that there’s a reward as you trade in innocence for a richer, albeit more complicated life”.

Through the lyrics crashing against the sublime instrumentation, Symbol Soup builds this truly immersive tale to this exploration. A world that vividly appears with the emotions paired with the lyrics and the vocal harmonies. As the instrumentation develops and gains this immense structure, the intensity ramps up, the hooks multiply and the commanding touch of the music consumes you. Notably and more present within this single release, Symbol Soup has this Americana identity floating through the complexity of the tonality. There is a real course of explosive elements within the track, and as the rhythmic passages enhance the volatile energy expands.

The track is the fourth to be released from Symbol Soup’s forthcoming debut album, ‘Slow Puncture’, a stunning collection of songs that details the young musician’s life growing up in Milton Keynes, all shot through the filter of the American TV show he watched as a child, Buckinghamshire by way of the OC.

A ‘Slow Puncture’ to me seemed to be the perfect example of a problem that gets thought about every day and left unfixed. A tyre with a slow puncture needs constant effort and maintenance just to keep moving, but usually doesn’t get repaired or replaced until it’s too late” Michael says, going into detail. “A running theme of the album is living with our own limitations or flaws – ideally through acceptance, other times through pure laziness. The metaphor also relates to the process of growing older, feeling that you’re imperceptibly losing something as time passes. The specifics will be different, but I think most people would relate to the idea of having a ‘puncture’, some Achilles heel or turning point in their life, that impacts everything else.”

Since relocating to South London from Milton Keynes in 2021, Symbol Soup has become a valuable part of the local DIY community. This is in large part down to hosting the ‘Soupenanny’ shows at The George Tavern and The Windmill. These events take food bank donations for entry, showcasing like-minded acts such as Tapir! Blackaby, Lilo. Symbol Soup have also played support for the likes of Jerkcurb, Bull, Personal Trainer and Tummyache.

Symbol Soup has already been generating fans at radio and press, with support from the likes of ClashDIY and Various Small Flames, as well as radio support from BBC Introducing.   

To celebrate the release of ‘Slow Puncture’, Symbol Soup will be performing a special album launch show at the George Tavern in East London on the 29th July, tickets available from Dice.

Slow Puncture

1.     Dial-a-Dream

2.     Overdressed

3.     Saddle

4.     Appetite

5.     Airglow

6.     Tire

7.     Root

8.     Gameshow

9.     Dark Horse

10.  Whatever It Is

11.  Wishbone

12.  Punchline (Bonus Track)




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