When The Purple Emperor Spreads His Wings is the new double album from The Wave Pictures. The title means ‘spring’ - that day when all the butterflies burst into life. A new beginning. As songwriter, singer and guitarist David Tattersall explains: “There is always a strong sense of time and place in The Wave Pictures’ songs. It soon became natural to group the songs that I was writing by season. The album has 4 sides: one for each season. The songs ‘take place’ lyrically within that season. The album begins in Summer and ends in Spring, to represent the cycle of life.”
While some tracks were recorded before the pandemic, others were written by David during the enforced lockdown - working prolifically as ever, writing a song a day when no one could go out, and The Wave Pictures couldn’t play music together. On fire with inspiration, with the spirit and fearlessness of William Blake in mind, the result is a collection of songs that celebrate poetry and the album-as-album form itself. David says “The seasonal/annual track-listing relates specifically to the year we lost from our lives due to COVID. As is often the case in The Wave Pictures’ songs, a small moment in time gets drawn out over three minutes. This is because in memory a fleeting moment, a millisecond, can sometimes be stronger and more important than a whole year.”
Whether written pre or post lockdown, the songs on the album are an effort to make pop music, Wave Pictures style. When The Purple Emperor Spreads His Wings packs in a record number of songs under three minutes on a Wave Pictures release than ever before - and that’s no accident! But just because the songs are the length of classic smash hit singles, you still get a whole lot of Wave Pictures – Dave’s legendary guitar solos, acoustic picking and solid gold song-writing, plus country harp, mandolin, blues harmonica and more. All of the band, David, Franic Rozycki (bass) and Jonny ‘Huddersfield’ Helm’ (drums) love rock and roll, classic country, 70’s rock, soul and folk, and this album celebrates a little bit of all their musical loves, some rediscovered during extra lockdown listening time. Indie legends Guided By Voices snippet pop song mania, in particular, showed how The Wave Pictures could take their classic influences and allow them to harness the power of pop more than ever before. The band entertained themselves playing Dave’s poetically inspired songs while thinking about all kinds of records they were listening to: Sun Rockabilly, African guitars, Neil Young country, and plenty of the sounds of the 60’s golden age of British music: the crazy fun of The Who and the creepiness of The Yardbirds. This is the perfect album for those people who still wonder who is better, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones.