Martin Shears

For more than two decades, the musician – whose voice is like a cross between that of R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and Squeeze’s Chris Difford – has been molding a sound that’s part new wave, part post-punk.

The speedy guitar riff that guides “Beautiful Losers” sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack of a John Hughes movie from the ’80s. The lyrics, meanwhile, read like they fit with one of the angst-ridden teens in The Breakfast Club: “You tell me who, where, how and why/ You tell me when to live and die… and what to love and what to hate.”

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