XTC co-frontman Colin Moulding is back with new music, this time as a solo artist. The Hardest Battle will be released as a CD single via Burning Shed on July 2.
Containing two songs – The Hardest Battle, Say It (original version), and an exploratory demo of the title track, The Hardest Battle represents Moulding‘s first ever fully solo release.
Following two releases with original XTC drummer Terry Chambers as TC&I – Great Aspirations EP and the album Naked Flames: Live At Swindon Arts Centre – The Hardest Battle is the first new material from Moulding in many years.
Says Moulding, “’To be nobody but yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight’: I saw these lines in a book I picked up in a secondhand bookshop and thought: maybe there’s a song there. I think it’s by the poet EE Cummins.
“And there it was. All I had to do was come up with some music to marry to this notion. I do think most people aren’t themselves really, or become themselves eventually. And that struggle isn’t easy. I recorded this pretty much in isolation as most people have been this past year or so. One crazy year for all of us. Perhaps The Hardest Battle we humans have faced externally, as well as the one we fight internally every day.”
Founded in 1972, XTC only had their first UK charting single in 1979. Moulding wrote the first three charting singles (Life Begins At The Hop, Making Plans For Nigel and Generals And Majors). Moulding continued with frontman Andy Partridge through the group’s dissolution in 2006. In 1984, they also, along with XTC bandmate Dave Gregory and Ian Gregory, formed The Dukes of Stratosphear, anticipating and celebrated by retro-minded movements such as the Paisley Underground.