Run For Your Life, the new single from Bertie Blackman. From the first major-chord chorus, Run for Your Life triggers the very sensations Bertie Blackman is singing about: your feet pound the pavement, the air rushes into your lungs, the blood pumps through your veins. It recalls the dizzy highs of a John Hughes movie, The Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink: the blast of synths and the jubilant fist in the air.
“I grew up listening to that kind of music,” Bertie laughs. “My mum was a real ’80s chick and would jump on a little trampoline in the morning when I was getting ready for school, blasting aerobic pop really loud. It’s one of my favourite memories.”
We’re used to Bertie Blackman zagging when we expect her to zig. Her previous release, Pope Innocent X, was an introspective affair, delving into Blackman’s bohemian childhood and personal life. Fifth album, The Dash, out in October 2014, will be the polar opposite. “I want to make people feel good,” she says. “I had a fire in my belly to write songs that represent all the things I love about music.”
With this first single, Bertie enlisted Louis Schoorl as a co-writer and sent it off to be mixed by Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). The rest of the album will be a buffet of co-writers and producers, which is a ruse by Bertie to bring herself out of her shell.
“It’s my coming-of-age pop record,” she says of The Dash. “Big hooks, big vocals, direct feelings. It feels like I’ve cleaned out all those cobwebs and it can stand in its own right. I’m not hiding behind anything.”