Single Review – Johnny Marr – The Priest

Around winter time spoken word tracks can bring to mind uncomfortable moments of insincerity topped off with ill-fitting knitwear and false tears but Johnny Marr’s new single ‘The Priest’ might just be about as far from insincere as it’s possible to get. Documenting the grim truth of a life lived on the streets of Manchester, with added rectitude bought by the voice of actor Maxine Peake, Johnny Marr’s new single ‘The Priest’ feels like a modern gospel that cuts deep. The tracks accompanying video follows the story of a homeless girl, played by Molly Windsor, in a simple and yet emotive film. Labelled ‘Priest’ because she doesn’t want the drugs or alcohol that a pair of guys offer her, she spends the track trying to find something to eat and a place to sleep as she lip sinks Peaks words. Painting strong social imagery in a narrative that is as captivating as it is heartbreaking ‘The Priest’ suggests Marr’s third solo album and collaboration with Peake, due for release in the spring, will be worth the wait.

Hayley Miller

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