Sea Power – formerly known as British Sea Power – have shared new single ‘Two Fingers’ ahead of the release of new album ‘Everything Was Forever’ on 11 February 2022. The name change has been discussed intensely via several major media outlets over the past week or so, with the inevitable dissenting voices that remind you of a certain Stewart Lee sketch coming through, but we’ll focus on the music itself.
Inspired by Yan and Hamilton’s late father and a very specific action – ‘He was always giving a two-fingered salute to people on the telly – a kind of old-fashioned drinking term, toasting people or events: ‘I’ll drink two fingers to that’, to some news item or to memories of a childhood friend. In the song it’s a toast to everyone, remembering those in our lives and those sadly no longer here and to making the world a better place. The song is ‘F*** me, f*** you, f*** everything.’ But it’s also ‘Love me, love you, love everything’ – exultation in the darkness. If you say ‘f*** you’ in the right way, it really can be cathartic, a new start.’ – from the very first squeal of feedback and tender, melodic guitar tones, you know this is Sea Power – complete with talk of black magic, illusions and a plea of how ‘I’d like to set you free’.
Bearing in mind how the action of raising two fingers has a flip side – both fuck you and V for victory – there’s raw power in the repeated lyrics of ‘Two fingers for the dead, two fingers for the living, two fingers for the world that we all live in’. Essentially, we’re hearing that everyone, no matter who or where they are, should be on the receiving end of this gesture. And what can be more British than that?