If you didn’t already know, former Oxford Collapse frontman Mike Pace now works solo under the moniker Mike Pace and the Child Actors, and is dedicated to bringing vivid smash hits inspired by the pop and rock glitterati of years past. Indeed, you could think of Pace as something of a musical smoothie machine, collecting a myriad influences and styles—from 60s surf rock and 70s glam rock to power pop, sophisti-pop and pop psych groove—and blending them into smooth, ice cool mini epics that go down as easy as you like.
The Child Actors tone is pitched somewhere between tongue-in-cheek and totally serious, or perhaps it’s more like tongue-in-cheek performed totally seriously. As we described in a review of 2017’s Get Soft, “[Pace’s music] feels like neither a sugary nostalgia-trip nor some ironic attack. Instead, and this could be said of the entire Child Actors output to date, it’s more a symbiosis between the two, a celebration that’s as interested in the fun banal stuff as it is with the more human centre.”
To artfully coincide with his fortieth birthday, Pace is releasing a brand new track, ‘Hazy, Hot and Humid,’ a song that continues his delightfully retro and playful style. Fittingly, the song’s genesis lies in the tropics, Pace taking old favourites to the fertile surroundings of beach bums and board shorts and growing his own hybrid sound. “Last October we stole away to island paradise of Bermuda for a long weekend to celebrate my wife’s birthday, sans kids,” Pace explains. “I brought along Paul Zollo’s indispensable Conversations with Tom Petty to read while lazing on the beach and gazing towards the horizon line. Reading about Petty’s songwriting process and absorbing a lot of his back catalog formed the basis of this track, which I think ultimately came out sounding more like 90’s era Lindsey Buckingham (you better believe Out of the Cradle holds up!). I hope it’s indicative of what’s to come from me as I slide gracefully into middle age.”
We’re thrilled to be able to share the video for the track. Written and directed by the ghost of Angus Scrimm, the film is everything you expect from Pace—hard-hitting, achingly cool and entirely, 100% serious.
‘Hazy, Hot & Humid’ is out now via Prickly Pear and you can get it from the Mike Pace and the Child Actors Bandcamp page.
Art by Ken MacLaurin