Paul Hartnoll, one half of electronic dance music duo Orbital, and poet and performance artist Murray Lachlan Young recently announced their lockdown-inspired musical collusion album as ‘Hartnoll & Young’. Hopefully apturing the covid zeitgeist, ‘The Virus Diaries’ is a lighthearted wander through the ever-shifting scene of the first lockdown. The 15-track album aims to bring light to an otherwise dark scene and the result of a workflow between the close pair.
The new single, ‘I Need a Haircut’ is out now, released in sync as a soundtrack to the nation’s barbers and salons throwing open their doors once again to an army of dodgy DIY trims and shaved heads.
Harping back to The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band, Flanders and Swan, the Pythons with a touch of Zen Buddhism thrown in as a setting agent the album is a time capsule for the early Covid era… the pair noting, “We hope, for a while at least, it might help provide a bit of light-hearted perspective on this deeply peculiar turn of events.”
Murray Young: “It was glaringly obvious to anyone, the last thing anyone needed was serious art. It doesn’t patronise, prescribe or instruct. It just tries to tell it like it was at the time. The thing that went missing in lockdown #1 was fun and any sort of laughs. Everyone shut up shop and that is where we stepped into the void."
The first fruits of their collaboration initially dropped last year with the song, ‘I’m Going Shopping’ released as a NHS Charities Together charity single.
Paul Hartnoll: “This album will improve with age, you may not want to be reminded of the whole coronavirus world we now inhabit at the moment. But I suspect, in time, these observations will be the memory jog of the things that history will leave behind and you will be left asking ‘what the fuck happened there?’”
Hartnoll & Young's 'The Virus Diaries' is released 25 June.