When pop moves on, it leaves some stars behind. For others – the ones who were in it for the music – it opens new avenues.
Kim Wilde’s return to recording isn’t a comeback, but it does mark a fresh start in the iconic singer’s extraordinary career. Proud of her past, but focused on the future, Kim has never stopped singing or selling out tours – she has played more shows in the past decade than ever before, finding fans in countries she never dreamed she’d visit and turning new generations on to her songs.
When she walked in to the famous RAK Studios last year to begin recording ‘Here Come The Aliens’ (her first new album of original material to have a UK release since 1992), Kim felt instantly at home. Not only because RAK was where, in 1981, she recorded ‘Kids In America’ and ‘Chequered Love’, the seminal singles that made her famous at the age of 21, but because making music is what Kim has always done.
Now, as then, Kim was produced by her brother Ricky Wilde, who also guests on lead single ‘Pop Don’t Stop’, the first time that the pair have duetted on record. A glorious blend of rock riffs, electro beats and Kim’s infectious effervescence, with an earworm chorus that would work in any decade, ‘Pop Don’t Stop’ is a celebration of the role pop has played in the siblings’ lives and a tribute to the power of a great melody.
“Ricky and I share the same passion for pop,” says Kim. “We grew up together with the same influences, we speak the same language when it comes to all things musical. Some love affairs never die and our love affair with pop continues to this day, stronger than ever in fact!”
That passion is apparent throughout ‘Here Come The Aliens’ – lyrically, musically and in the patently genuine joy with which Kim always sings. Named after a real-life Close Encounter that occurred in Kim’s back garden in 2009, the album contains 12 tracks of swagger and sweetness that delve in to disco, new wave, electro and glam rock, but are really just smart, stylish, arms-aloft pop.
From the slinky, stomp-along opener 1969, the thrill ride of raucous second single ‘Kandy Krush’ and the electro monster ‘Stereo Shot’ to the shimmering ballad ‘Solstice’, the addictive, riff-drenched ‘A Different Story’ and the boisterous ‘Birthday’, ‘Here Come The Aliens’ pairs Kim’s trademark lust for life with the strongest set of songs of her nearly 40 year career.
Vocally, Kim has never sounded better, the result of a hectic gig and festival schedule that has taken Kim and her six-strong band around the world for the past decade, playing not only her classic ‘80s tracks, but the hits she has continued to enjoy throughout Europe, Scandinavia and Asia up to the present day. In fact, it’s in Britain where Kim has been off the road the most.
“I’ve played more in the past 15 years than I did in the first two decades of my career,” says Kim, the UK’s most successful female pop star of the 80s, whose early tours included opening for David Bowie and Michael Jackson. “My band and I have headlined several tours abroad, but this is the first one for almost 30 years at home. But I’ve had fantastic experiences here touring with Rewind and Let’s Rock so our fans know that they have a very special place in my heart. I cannot wait to see them all up close and personal.”
A true family affair, ‘Here Come The Aliens’ was largely co-written by Kim and Ricky and also features her niece Scarlett, who has played in the band for a decade and sings and songwrites on the album. The multi-talented Scarlett is also responsible for the album’s phenomenal artwork.
“It’s easily the best artwork I’ve ever had and this is probably the album of which I’m most proud,” says Kim. “I can’t wait for people to hear it. It was made with a lot of love and supernatural energy.”
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