Rising British indie duo Wings of Desire — James Taylor and Chloe Little — draw inspiration from several eclectic sources, including early 00s New York post punk, Factory Records, krautrock and the work of philosophers like Alan Watts, Noam Chomsky and Wim Wenders.
Sonically, they attempt to key into a specific lived in experience: “We were inspired by a trip to Berlin where we visited the legendary Hansa Studios, and got drunk at Neues Ufer.” Built in 1913, the building was later used as a cabaret and chamber music hall during the Weimar era, and converted to a recording studio in the early 1970s. Because of its outstanding acoustics, the studio has played host to David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, U2, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Killing Joke, Manic Street Preachers, R.E.M. and Living Things among others. It’s been said that Bowie wrote “Heroes” at a window of the studio, from which he saw his producer and longtime collaborator Tony Visconti kiss backing vocalist Antonia Maass, by the Berlin Wall, an image that’s referenced in the song’s lyrics.
Hansa Studios is a spiritual home for the rising British duo as they specialize in a gritty take on dream pop rooted in earnest, lived-in emotion. So far, the duo have received praise from Stereogum, BrooklynVegan, The Line of Best Fit, DIY, Clash Magazine, Dork, The Independent and others. They’ve received airplay from BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Lauren Laverne and Radio X’s John Kennedy. And last year they’ve opened for JOVM mainstays Nation of Language.
Building upon a growing profile, the duo share a new single, the expansive “Runnin,'” which will appear on effort slated for release later this year. Featuring shimmering and reverb-drenched, angular guitar attack, atmospheric synths and a relentless motorik groove paired with Taylor’s plaintive vocal and rousingly anthemic hooks, “Runnin” to these ears, sounds like a sleek synthesis of Berlin Trilogy-era David Bowie and The Jesus and Mary Chain, but rooted in incisive observation of the contemporary human experience.
With their new single, the duo offers a much-needed reminder, that there’s more to life than what we’re being served and fed on a daily basis through the algorithm. “Running endlessly in circles under the tight grip of a culture designed to distract us from ourselves,” the band explains. “Do we still believe that the internet knows what’s best for us? Maybe it’s time to get off the wheel and see what’s outside.”
The accompanying video featured slickly edited stock footage — of natural and man-made disasters, news broadcasts, the Wall Street trading floor, people in internet cafes and elsewhere. All of them feeling desperately empty, inadequate, lonely and desiring earnest connections that they don’t know how to achieve. It’s as much of a critique of the social media world, as it is of capitalism.