All Saints Reunite, Single “One Strike” Out In February & Album ‘Red Flag’ Set For April
British girl group All Saints are aiming for a second comeback with the release of their fourth album Red Flag on April 8, which will be preceded by the single “One Strike” on February 26. The previously defunct London Records has been resurrected by Capitol in the UK specifically for the project.
Speaking to i-D, the four members of All Saints — Melanie Blatt, Shaznay Lewis, Nicole Appleton and Natalie Appleton — discuss how a request to open for Backstreet Boys on tour in the UK and Ireland in 2014 was the catalyst for recording new music together.
“We were asked to do that tour, we never got to actually do that many shows back in the day,” Blatt says to i-D. “The chance to do the thing we did the least of, but which we enjoyed the most — performing — was refreshing.” Natalie Appleton adds, “We thought we’d just do it for a laugh, but then we just didn’t want it to end. We liked being together. We wanted to be together. I mean we hang out anyway, but we wanted to hang out in this world.”
Between 1997 and 2000, All Saints released their first two albums: their self-titled debut, which contained the trans-Atlantic hit “Never Ever” (it peaked at #4 stateside and became the first of five extremely catchy chart-topping R&B-pop jams for the ladies in their home country) and Saints & Sinners. They also contributed the William Orbit-produced “Pure Shores” to the soundtrack of the 2000 Leonard DiCaprio film The Beach.
In early 2001, the group announced they’d be taking a break — one that lasted five years, until the UK release of new single “Rock Steady” and third album Studio 1 in November 2006. But despite a #3 chart placing for the song, the album tanked and, within months, All Saints and their label Parlophone parted ways.
Never (ever?) underestimate the selling power of nostalgia, though! A full decade later, while chatting about new single “One Strike,” Shaznay tells i-D she wrote it with the producer Hutch: “It’s about conversations I was having with Nic[ole] at the time when she was going through personal things in her life, and as a friend I was just inspired to write about it. When you write songs it’s all about feeling.”
Nicole Appleton had been married for six years to former Oasis member Liam Gallagher, but All Saints are quick to point out that “One Strike” is not about the divorce.
“The phrase ‘one strike’ is about how your life can just change in one instant,” Lewis explains. “You can be walking down the road, you’ve just left your family at home and everything’s hunky dory, then when you go back home they’re gone. On one side of the door your life’s amazing, on the other side it changes just like that.”
For now, you can hear 10 seconds of new All Saints music via the tweet below.
— All Saints (@AllSaintsOffic) January 27, 2016