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Manchester quintet Pastel share single ‘Escape’

Having been personally chosen by Liam Gallagher to open his biblical Knebworth Park weekender, Pastel’s performance showed that the newcomers are natural stars on the biggest of stages. Now the Manchester quintet releases their first new music single since that landmark show as they share the new single ‘Escape’. 

The feeling that Pastel has emerged fully formed is amplified by ‘Escape’. Coming across like a modernised missing link between the sprawling psychedelia of early Verve and the spacious shoegaze of Ride, ‘Escape’ constantly grows in stature. Yet frontman Jack Yates’ voice is never submerged by the wall-of-sound guitars, allowing the band to keep an anthemic edge to their heavyweight soundscape. 

Jack says, “This is a song mindlessly written after a weighty acid trip… ‘She melts in your mouth’… You do the maths.” 

Pastel recorded ‘Escape’ with producer J. Fender, the frontman of fellow Manchester rising stars Afflecks Palace , and the founder of both bands’ record label, Spirit of Spike Island. It was mixed by James Kenosha and then mastered by John Davis (The Killers, Foals, IDLES) at Metropolis in London.  

J. Fender also filmed the accompanying video for ‘Escape’, which opens with Jack crossing the Humber Bridge before he’s joined one-by-one by the rest of the band. This footage is interspersed with clips of their day at Knebworth Park captured by Sophie Sandor, which includes meeting the Stone Roses legend, John Squire. The 9mm gives it an immediately nostalgic vibe, providing evocative flashbacks to Woodstock and Spike Island, but capturing at one of the biggest live music events of 2022. 

In their short career to date, Pastel have already won some influential admirers. Filmmaker Charlie Lightening was first on board, resulting in him directing the band’s video for ‘BLU’, the band featuring in a Pretty Green ad campaign and also being discovered by Liam Gallagher. Their debut EP ‘Deeper Than Holy’ laid the foundation for a new wave of essential Madchester music. It shot straight to #1 on the UK vinyl chart, having sold all 600 copies of its limited edition 12” in just 90 seconds. Pastel soon gained further attention from BBC 6 Music, Radio X and Soccer AM, while rhythm guitarist James Yates went viral after sharing a photo of him planting a kiss on Louis Tomlinson

Also inspired by bands such as Shack, Radiohead, The Charlatans, Blossoms, and New Order, Pastel is completed by Joe Anderson (lead guitar), Liam O’Shea (bass), and Rhys Wheeler (drums). They’re currently working on their upcoming second EP as well as their debut album. In the meantime, catch Pastel on tour in July and September with Afflecks Palace. The bill is completed by Spirit of Spike Island label mate and fellow Manchester artist Vega Rally. Full dates can be found here.

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