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All Saints Makes a Comeback with 'One Strike'

Photo: Alice Fisher/Courtesy of London Records
Bursting onto the music scene in the late 90s, UK girl group All Saints were billed by critics as the edgy alternative to uber pop Spice Girls.  Made up of Shaznay Lewis, Melanie Blatt, and sisters Nicole and Natalie Appleton, All Saints set the music charts ablaze with their single "Never Ever," topping the charts in the UK and reaching #4 in the US. 

The group's 1997 self titled debut album rose to #2 in the UK thanks to hits "I Know Where It's At," "Never Ever," and "Bootie Call." The group followed up with 2000's Saints and Sinners, which produced the hit singles "Black Coffee" and "Pure Shores," which also appeared on the soundtrack to The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

By the time All Saints began working on the music video for "Black Coffee" and its follow up single "All Hooked Up," there was so much in-fighting between the members that they were no longer speaking to each other and scenes for both videos were filmed separately.  Following the release of "All Hooked Up" in 2001, the group had split.

Fast forward to 2006. The members of All Saints were offered a deal by British label Parlophone Records to reform. They released "Rock Steady" as the lead single for the album Studio 1 and it claimed the UK singles chart to #3. The album did not fair so well. Promotion for the next single "Chick Fit" was cancelled even though a music video was released and the song was eventually released as a digital only promo single before the group were dropped by Parlophone.

Photo: Alice Fisher/ Courtesy of London Records

Jump to 2014, All Saints were asked to open for Backstreet Boys' UK tour. During this time the girls began working on new material with the idea that if they liked what they came up with, it could lead to an album.

This brings us to the present with All Saints having released their comeback single "One Strike" from the forthcoming album Red Flag. The song is about Nicole Appleton's much publicized split with former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher. 

Songwriter and group member Shaznay Lewis told British magazine  i-D , “It’s about conversations I was having with Nic 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.”

“The phrase ‘one strike’ is about how your life can just change in one instant,” Lewis adds,  making a point to clarify the song is not necessarily about divorce. “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.”

The song is full of insightful lyrics and beautiful harmonies. The track opens with a catchy drum beat that flows into a rhythmic masterpiece harkening back to "Pure Shores" while sounding fresh and new, yet true to the All Saints sound. The song is definetly one of the best to come out so far in 2016. In a musical landscape of autotune and lyrics about sex and asses, All Saints serve up a meaningful tune that actually allows you to feel something deep. 

This is the type of music that US radio desperately needs. While "One Strike" debuted three days ago on BBC Radio 2 and is already in the top 25 on the UK iTunes chart, unfortunately US radio will almost certainly overlook this gem. At least the girls released it through iTunes in North America along with the preorder of Red Flag.

*Brooklyn Brown-Sater is the Style & Entertainment Editor for UpToTempo. Follow her on Twitter: @bbrownsater

Essential All Saints 

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