Colin Moulding has created new solo tracks, to be released on CD July the 2nd. In the press release, the singer, songwright, multi-instrumentalist, XTC co-founder and native of Swindon, Wiltshire, England shares that his new song “The Hardest Battle” was inspired by a quote from the American poet e e cummings. That quote, sometimes referred to as “to be nobody but yourself,” is quite findable, but cummings also added in a different context:
And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world — unless you’re not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die. Does that sound dismal? It isn’t. It’s the most wonderful life on earth.
From the moment a friend laid XTC’s fourth album Black Sea on me back in the early ’80s, that was my impression of Colin and his bandmates – clever, deviant poets. Indeed, the first Colin tune I heard was “Generals and Majors” which, with a groove and a grin, skewers people who are literally trying to blow up the world.
As for “The Hardest Battle,” from the verse, with its jaunty bounce and ‘found my coat and grabbed my hat’ verve, to the extended organ chord in the lead out, Colin deftly features the Fab inspiration that occasionally percolates in his writing. His solo vocal ensemble sounds rich on the ‘doo-doo-doos,’ and his droll lyrical wisdom does the rest. Whether a magpie or whether a crow/whether your plumage might spoil the show/You’ll do. With Colin’s confident, melodic bassmanship as navigator, this is a graceful tune for a wiser season of life.
Having recently lost my father, the sentiment expressed in the b-side “Say It” is particularly poignant for me. Let’s say it face-to-face/Say it for goodness sake, now. This holdover from an unrealized XTC project, along with an early demo version of “Battle,” round out this release. They’re also offered as an illustration of Colin’s philosophy of creative discovery, “I’m just Larkin around until [the tune] presents itself.” (a reference to the English poet Philip Larkin)
I’m quite sure you will be pleased as I am to know that Colin Moulding continues to be not only willing, but glad.