Piroshka Tackle the History of Protest, Brexit, and Phone Addiction in the Video for “What’s Next?”

Band Fronted by Lush's Miki Berenyi; Brickbat Out Now via Bella Union

Feb 15, 2019
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Piroshka have released their debut album, Brickbat, today via Bella Union. You can stream it here. Now they have shared a video for "What's Next?" Bunny Schendler directed and designed the animated video, which was animated by Schendler, Sofja Umarik, and Jonathan Hodgson (Hodgson also edited it). Befitting the political nature of the song, the video chronicles the history of protest movements, tackles Brexit and the privatization of the National Health Service in the UK, and posits that these days we're all too addicted to our smart phones to truly stand up to governments. Watch it below, followed by the band's upcoming tour dates.

Piroshka features members of various other iconic British acts. They are fronted by former Lush singer Miki Berenyi (vocals/guitar) and also include former Moose guitarist KJ "Moose" McKillop, Modern English bassist Mick Conroy, and former Elastica drummer Justin Welch.

Berenyi had this to say about the song in a previous press release: "'What's Next' started life as a guitar-and-drums demo from Justin that he'd called 'Protest' - the drums being inspired by the idea of a protest march. It's one of the very first songs Piroshka worked on together. The lyrics are inspired by the shock and fallout regarding current political upheavals - how this finger-pointing and rage and blame are so damaging, how we need to get back some kind of solidarity if we possibly can because the divisions between us are playing into certain people's hands. Funnily enough, the song was called Time's Up when it was first recorded, but that title then got taken so we thought we'd better change it! It's the only track on the album mixed by Alan Moulder - before we got picked up by Bella Union, we had an album's worth of demos but we only had enough money to get one of them mixed!"

Read our review of Brickbat.

Previously Piroshka shared the album's first single, "Everlasting Yours" (which was one of our Songs of the Week), as well as a video for the song. Then they shared another track from the album, "What's Next?" (which was also one of our Songs of the Week).

Lush reformed in 2015, with Welch filling in for the late Chris Acland on drums. The band released one great comeback EP in 2016, Blind Spot. When bassist Philip King left the band later that year, Conroy filled in on bass for Lush's final shows before the band broke up again after those shows. It was Welch who suggested forming a new band with Berenyi and Conroy. McKillop is Berenyi's partner and has two children with her and naturally found a place in Piroshka. Both Lush and Moose were leading lights in the early 1990s shoegazing scene.

"We sounded great!" said Welch, in a previous press release, of their initial Lush rehearsals with Conroy. "Like a proper punk band. Mick brings a huge amount of enthusiasm and livens up the room, and I thought, this is the kind of band I want to be in again." 

Conroy added: "I'd seen Lush so many times, it was like playing with old friends. Miki agreed it was good fun too. And with Moose available we thought, let's all have a bash, see what happens."

It was not a given that Berenyi would be interested in joining a new band. After Lush's split in 1998 she had stepped away from performing music, focusing on raising her kids and working for magazines.

"After the Manchester show, Justin asked if I'd be up for something else," Berenyi explained in the press release. "But I'd never made music outside of Lush, and I've never wanted to do anything solo. I need someone else to motivate me, and in this case it was Justin. He sent drum tracks with guitar parts and odd words, so I wrote some vocals and lyrics, which became 'This Must Be Bedlam' and 'Never Enough.' When Mick added bass, it sounded great. When Moose added guitar and keyboards - I'd never written like that before, it was such good fun."

The previous press release said that songs on Brickbat are often more direct than those by Lush. The lyrics to "Village of the Damned," for example, were written by McKillop and he says the song is "about school shootings and our reaction to almost being unable to take our eyes off 24-hour news and Internet feeds. You're depressed and appalled by what you see." 

The Piroshka band name comes from the Hungarian version of Little Red Riding Hood.

Simon Raymonde, formerly of Cocteau Twins runs the band's label, Bella Union. He signed the band as soon as he heard their demos. Raymonde's Cocteau Twins bandmate Robin Guthrie produced Lush's debut album, 1992's Spooky. Also Raymonde is in the duo Lost Horizons with Richie Thomas, who used to be in Moose. Paul Gregory of Bella Union labelmates Lanterns on the Lake mixed most of Brickbat, expect for "What's Next," which was mixed by Alan Moulder. Fiona Brice wrote the string arrangements and Terry Edwards, who played on Lush's final album, contributes brass. 

Read out 2016 interview with Lush on their reunion and Blind Spot.

Also read our two 2015 interviews with Berenyi and Lush bandmate Emma Anderson on their albums Split and Lovelife, in which they discussed the challenges of reforming. Also read our 2007 interview with Berenyi, which at the time was her first interview in a decade, since Lush's breakup.

Piroshka Tour Dates:

3/29 MANCHESTER, UK @ Soup Kitchen
3/30 GLASGOW, UK @ Stereo tickets
3/31 LEEDS, UK @ Brudenell Social Club tickets
4/04 LONDON, UK @ Oslo
4/05 CAMBRIDGE, UK @ Portland Arms tickets
4/06 BRISTOL, UK @ Rough Trade tickets
4/25 PARIS, FR @ Backstage
4/26 AMSTERDAM, NL @ Bitterzoet
4/27 BERLIN, DE @ Privatclub
4/28 COPENHAGEN, DK @ Vega
5/01 BRUSSELS, BE @ Botanique

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