The Smashing Pumpkins have confirmed a new studio album is on the way, teasing the forthcoming release with two new songs, “Cyr” and “The Color of Love,” which arrived Friday via Sumerian Records (full album release date is TBA). The retro-styled songs have electrified fans of the band, which features founding members Billy Corgan, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin, and longtime guitarist Jeff Schroeder (former bassist D’arcy Wretzky is the only missing original member).
“Cyr is dystopic folly,” frontman Billy Corgan said in a statement announcing the new music. “One soul against the world sort of stuff, set against a backdrop of shifting loyalties and sped up time….to me it stands as both hopeful and dismissive of what is and isn’t possible with faith,” he said.
The pulsing, synth-soaked “Cyr” sounds similar to some past Smashing Pumpkins work, and even might please a few Depeche Mode fans along the way with its driving, melancholy momentum. A video for the song was also released Friday and gives an additional window into the song’s character. Linda Strawberry directed the clip, which was shot remotely during lockdown in Chicago and Los Angeles.
“This is a goth fever dream of pent up emotion — an artistic visual release attempting to create a momentary escape from the emotional black cloud hanging over all of us this year” Strawberry explained. “A dark seduction filmed in quarantine at a social distance.”
If “Cyr” is the proverbial “A-side” of the pair of new songs from the band, “The Colour Of Love” is its fantastic B-side. More reminiscent of The Cure than Depeche Mode, “The Colour Of Love” certainly hits listeners a bit harder on the rock side of the spectrum, with ringing guitars and pounding drums.
And while both songs evoke 1980s/1990s nostalgia, they remain rooted in the now, and both manage to effortlessly take their place alongside a catalog of cherished Smashing Pumpkins classics.
The band was due to have an ambitious tour schedule this year, including stadium-sized opening dates for Guns N’ Roses, but the pandemic sidelined their trek.