Over the past four decades — give or take a decade break — the illustrious and critically acclaimed Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD) have sold over 40 million records worldwide, establishing them as electronic synthesizer pioneers and one of Britain’s best-loved pop groups. Their 13 long players include benchmark-raising classics Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (1980), Organisation (1980), Architecture & Morality (1981), and Dazzle Ships (1983). OMD conquered the United States, and yielded the 1986 hit, “If You Leave” from the Pretty In Pink Soundtrack. They have also achieved 12 top 20 hits on the UK Singles Chart, as well as three top 20 hits on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Following the celebration of their 40th anniversary last year, OMD return with the announcement of their first new studio album since 2017’s highly praised The Punishment Of Luxury, a record entitled Bauhaus Staircase, due October 27, 2023.
The forthcoming Bauhaus Staircase is regarded as OMD’s most explicitly political record and the crowning achievement of their desire to be both Stockhausen and Abba – born from the impetus to kickstart new explorations during lockdown when, as Andy McCluskey admits: “I rediscovered the creative power of total boredom.”
Predominantly written, recorded, and mixed by both McCluskey and Paul Humphreys (who has recently become a second-time father), Bauhaus Staircase’s other main external influence was David Watts, mainly known as a rock producer who helmed Sheffield band The Reytons’ recent No 1 album and mixed two tracks on the new OMD record.
Ranging from the beautiful film noir ballad of “Veruschka,” to “Anthropocene” (a term for the current epoch in Earth’s evolution), to the sinister “Evolution Of Species,” and the hectic “Kleptocracy” (OMD’s greatest straight-up protest song), the new album is a broad, electronic, sonic masterpiece that lyrically tackles the topics of the future. The record closes on “Healing,” a moment of reflective calm and a rare OMD co-write, with lyrics by McCluskey’s friend, Liverpool singer-songwriter Caroline England, and production from ATOM.
With Bauhaus Staircase, OMD have created a landmark album worthy of their finest work. It remains unmistakably the work of a duo who are still perfectly in sync 45 years after their first gig at legendary Liverpool club Eric’s. “I’m very happy with what we’ve done on this record,” McCluskey summarizes. “I’m comfortable if this is OMD’s last statement.”