2022 sees legendary pop band Bananarama celebrate 40 sensational years of releasing music, chalking up an astonishing 30 chart hits and 30 million record sales.
Today they release new single ‘Masquerade’.
‘Masquerade’ sees the duo reunite with producer Ian Masterson, with whom they also worked on 2019’s ‘In Stereo’ – their highest-charting album since the late ’80s – and 2009’s ‘Viva’. The track is a pulsing slice of club pop with a hint of Pet Shop Boys in its musical DNA and lyrics that tap into our growing awareness of identity.
“When I was in lockdown there were a lot of conversations happening to do with inclusivity, diversity and gender and racial equality”
Sara explains. “So I had this idea of ‘masquerade’: how you present yourself in different ways depending on the situation, but really, you just want people to be able to live how they want to live. It’s a song we’re really very proud of.”
Stream and download ‘Masquerade’ here.
The stunning video for track was shot in Puglia, Italy by Harvey B Brown and is released later this week. You can be notified when it drops here.
Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward are marking 40 years of Bananarama in the best possible way: with an excellent new album, also entitled ‘Masquerade’, and a string of exciting live shows with more surprises throughout the next year. The album is released on 22nd July in a limited edition run of blue and red vinyl as well as cassette, CD and digital formats, and is available for pre-order now here.
The band originally conceived the album as an EP, but when the pandemic wiped out their live schedule in 2020, they carried on writing and ‘Masquerade’ grew into a sleek and cohesive 11-track electro-dance album that sounds both fresh and quintessentially Bananarama.
To celebrate the launch of the album, Bananarama will play two special shows this summer at London Lafayette on the 3rd and 4th of August. Tickets are on sale now here.
”When we started out, we could never have envisaged that we would be doing this for 40 years,” Dallin says. “I remember in the early days, I was 26 at the time, and someone in an interview said we were pushing 30 and we were getting a bit old to make music. Women in the music industry were seen as having a shelf life.”
Bananarama have proved that interviewer wrong in quite a spectacular way: if they do have a shelf life, it’s one that is nowhere near over.
‘Masquerade’ is their 12th studio album; they’ve racked up 30 UK chart hits and topped the US charts, and built a reputation as a rousing live act who delight crowds everywhere from Glastonbury to Manchester Pride and the Singapore Grand Prix. They’re already booked and busy this summer with festival shows at Kenwood House, Kew The Music, Rewind Scotland, 80s Party in the Park – at the Queen’s Sandringham estate, no less – and loads more.
Forty years after they released their debut single ‘Aie a Mwana’, Dallin and Woodward’s friendship still underpins everything that Bananarama do and above all, makes it fun.
“From the age of 18 or 19, to be able to travel the world and write and perform music, it really has been incredible,” Dallin says. “Yes, there’s a lot of hard work involved and certain things we’d rather not have to do” continues Woodward “but we have achieved so much and we’ve had some hilarious moments along the way. And they never seem to stop!”
Woodward says their band members always know when they have arrived at the airport “because they can hear the laughter coming“. And long may it continue: as Masquerade shows, Bananarama’s creative flame is burning brighter than ever.
Check out Bananarama’s official website for more information about the group.