Epic pop pioneers My Life Story, headed up by colourful and charismatic frontman, Jake Shillingford, flamboyantly floodlit the 1990’s and early 2000’s with their unique brew of playful orchestral pop and cleverly crafted lyrics. Their popularity was underscored by a string of top 40 hit singles and a dedicated following of fans that remain to this day. Not only did the band achieve critical acclaim with their music, they also influenced many other key bands of the Britpop era and featured on their records. And now, in 2019, the band have returned with a new and distinctly rockier sound with the the highly anticipated album ‘World Citizen’, cowritten and coproduced by vocalist and songwriter Shillingford and guitarist Nick Evans. ‘World Citizen’ will be released via Exilophone Records on 6th September. The first single will be the inordinately catchy ‘Taking On The World’, released on 23rd August 2019.
My Life Story has had a varied and illustrious past: playing the main stage at Glastonbury and collaborating with acts such as Marc Almond, Morrissey, The Pogues and The Wonderstuff, amongst many other incredible achievements. Never ones to completely stand still, in 2016 the band released a brand new single 24 Hour Deflowerer and gained a whole host of new fans and devotees on the back of this and a two-year run of 90s nostalgia festival dates throughout the UK. The band are a hugely popular and tight live act thanks to high-energy singalong favourites including 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, Strumpet, Sparkleand The King of Kissingdom. This boost in profile spawned demand for a brand new album. After dealing with the debacle of the collapse of Pledgemusic, the band took things into their own hands and now fans can pre order ‘World Citizen’ directly through the band’s own website.
The single ‘Taking On The World’ reflects the general theme of the album: global concerns, attempts to find safety in ‘truth’, crazy populism and a wry commentary on the fake news and strangeitudes we witness on a daily basis: all represented in Shillingford’s inimitably witty and insightful style. Only an expert songwriter and versatile lyricist with rich life experience would have the wit and vision to capture the mood of the moment and caricature it so perfectly. Jake says, wryly, “The single is like a Black Mirror episode in song form. “It’s about the ultimate dystopian TV reality game. A pop apocalypse where Flat Earthers and Fake Newsters take on the Old Darwinians and Extinction Rebellion in a battle of conspiracy theories”. We can all relate to this idea of a battle between truth and non-truth as, arguably, it is playing out in front of us in real time. He goes on to say: “I imagined what the end of the world would be like if it was played out live on TV, with Man declared the winner over Nature on a technical knock-out, choking on golden non-biodegradable ticker tape as he celebrates his pyrrhic victory!”
Ever playful with his lyrics, Jake maintains that nearly every sentence in the song actually has an ironic double meaning. “ It’s not quite what it appears on first listen. I’m hoping misguided scientologists will take it on as their theme song.”
No matter how you decipher the song, ‘Taking On The World’ gives musical form to our astonishment at events being played out in front of our eyes.
My Life Story - Taking On The World