EMF topped the charts globally with their mega-hit debut, Unbelievable, but as the band returns with a brand new album guitarist Ian Dench says he’s given up trying to match its success.
‘The Beauty And The Chaos’ is the latest LP from the group and reunites them with original producer Ralph Jezzard, who worked on the majority of their first two LPs: ‘Schubert Dip’ (1991) and ‘Stigma’ (1992).
Preceded by the single Hello People, featuring a spoken guest appearance from Stephen Fry, it harks back to the sound of their earliest recordings, but when it comes to new material the band is looking firmly to the future.
“I have tried to write Unbelievable again,” Ian admits in RETROPOP’s February issue. “I’d love to write Unbelievable again, wouldn’t we all?! But when you try to do it, and you don’t do it, you think, ‘What’s wrong with me? Why isn’t this happening?’, and eventually you have to resign yourself to the fact that there was just something about it and the stars just aligned.
“It was a moment – and thank goodness for that moment, we’re all so lucky to have had that moment. But we also made three albums and we wrote a lot of other great tunes.”
In the years since, Ian has carved a career for himself as a songwriter and penned gems such as Beautiful Liar for Beyoncé and Shakira, and Jordin Sparks’ Tattoo. Now, he’s relishing being back with the EMF boys and working on more material together.
“This is our fifth album, we love writing together, I still think we write great tunes, and I’ve relieved myself of the responsibility of writing another Unbelievable,” he insists. “We just love writing songs together and long may that continue, but I also think that writing hits for other people was a good way to exorcise the ghost of Unbelievable.
“It was like, ‘I can write another hit song’. Now, I’ve given up trying to write hit songs and I just do what I love. The stars aligning is something that’s out of your control. but the more you put yourself out there doing things you love, the more chance there is of them aligning again.”
‘The Beauty And The Chaos’ is out January 26 on EMF Recordings. Their UK tour kicks off the same day in Bristol.