Newcastle's angular pop quintet Maxïmo Park consists of singer Paul Smith, guitarist Duncan Lloyd, bassist Archie Tiku, keyboardist Lukas Wooller, and drummer Tom English. Like their friends and neighbours the Futureheads and Field Music, Maxïmo Park craft smart, sharply catchy songs inspired by post-punk and new wave legends like the Jam, XTC, Wire, and the Smiths.
Lloyd, Tiku, Wooller, and English formed the band as an avant rock, largely instrumental group, taking their name from a meeting place in Cuba for communists. Smith had previously played with the band Me and the Twins and was recommended as the band's new singer by English's girlfriend, who heard him singing Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious" at a karaoke night.
Maxïmo Park issued their debut 7", The Coast Is Always Changing/The Night I Lost My Head, in 2004; it caught the ears of Warp Records, which despite being a mostly electronic label signed them and released their second single, "Apply Some Pressure,". It made the Top 20 in the U.K.'s national charts.
In 2010, the band took a break from its near-constant recording and touring, during which time Smith made the solo album Margins.
The band's hiatus continued until 2012, when Maxïmo Park resurfaced with The National Health, a harder-hitting, politicised effort produced by Gil Norton. For 2014's more intimate, electronic-driven Too Much Information, the band recruited the Invisible's Dave Okumu and Field Music's David and Peter Brewis as collaborators.
After Smith worked with the Brewis brothers on a pair of solo albums, Maxïmo Park returned in 2017 with Risk to Exist. Recorded at Wilco's Loft studio in Chicago and featuring backing vocals from Low's Mimi Parker, the band's sixth album reflected the turbulent times in which it was recorded. Ahead of the album's April release, the album's title track was released as a single that benefitted the refugee charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS).
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