The band makes a bright and bold tribute to Berlin.
The city of Berlin has been a source of inspiration for several of the best rock albums of all time, including David Bowie’s Low and “Heroes,” Lust for Life by Iggy Pop, Black Celebration by Depeche Mode and U2’s Achtung Baby, all recorded at Hansa Studios. Now, Public Service Broadcasting’s latest record, Bright Magic, is taking that influence one step further, working as a concept album about Berlin and its culture over the decades.
On “Blue Heaven,” the band is joined by Andreya Casablanca of Berlin garage band GURR, to vocalize the perspective of German actor and singer, Marlene Dietrich. The song builds from an atmospheric beginning into an explosive, ecstatic mix of vibrating guitar chords and crashing drums. The lyrics alternate between English and German, speaking to Dietrich’s career and her humanitarian efforts to help victims of Nazi persecution during World War II. “I know I’m different/ I do as I please/ A spark inside that I can’t hide/ A mystery,” sings Casablanca with conviction and joy. It’s a stunning song that speaks to the independence and prowess of the screen legend.
Bright Magic drops on Sept. 24 via Play It Again Sam.