Chemtrails (UK)

PNKSLM Catalogue

2024 - The Joy of Sects (PNKSLM110) - Pre-order

2023 - Love in Toxic Wasteland/Headless Pin Up Girl (PNKSLM107) - Order

2020 – The Peculiar Smell of the Inevitable (PNKSLM074) – Order

2018 – Cuckoo Spit EP (PNKSLM056) – Listen/buy

2018 – Calf of the Sacred Cow LP (PNKSLM037) – Listen/buy

2017 – Headless Pin Up Girl EP (digital EP) – Listen/buy

2016 – Love In Toxic Wasteland EP (digital EP) – Listen/buy


With plays on BBC Radio 1, 6Music and KEXP under their belt, and their much-anticipated third album due for release in January, Manchester’s Chemtrails are gearing up for a big year in 2024.

The post-garage-punk and psychedelic power pop anomaly that is Chemtrails started out as the DIY bedroom recording project of romantic partners Mia Lust and Laura Orlova, evolving into a full band in 2016. Their uncanny talent for blasting out weird but irresistibly catchy pop songs was quickly noticed by Swedish label PNKSLM Recordings, who signed them just after their first gig — at Trans Pride Brighton. After relocating from London to Manchester in 2019, Lust and Orlova joined forces with a ferocious new rhythm section, putting the final piece of the puzzle into place. With Ian Kane on bass and Liam Steers on drums, the Chemtrails machine is now souped up with a turbocharged rhythmic engine, propelling the hook-filled songs to new levels of raw power, as the band sashays between sleazy punk, frantic krautrock and sardonically sassy grooves.

Served on a bed of twangy and fuzzy guitars, primitive synths and polychromatic pop, Mia Lust’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics tackle alienation, the absurd, the human condition, the impending apocalypse and, occasionally, her place in the world as a transgender woman. The band cites their biggest influences as Pixies, Blondie, Oh Sees, Fat White Family and sixties psych and garage punk, but what has always held the whole project together is the endless supply of catchy melodies, delivered with the band’s relentless excitement and energy.

The prolific 4-piece have built up a die-hard following and released five critically-acclaimed DIY records to date, most of which were recorded in their living room. Their three 6-song EPs and two full-length albums have garnered praise from the likes of Stereogum, DIY Mag and The Line of Best Fit, with four Chemtrails tracks selected as KEXP’s “Song of the Day”. The band has also been noticed by established acts like Dream Wife and Big Joanie, both of whom requested Chemtrails as openers for their Manchester tour dates in 2023.

Their upcoming third album, “The Joy of Sects”, promises to be their boldest yet, as Chemtrails return with a more danceable and rhythm-driven style, armed to the teeth with their trademark fuzzy guitars and playfully sinister melodies. Having worked with producer Margo Broom (Fat White Family, Big Joanie, Goat Girl), this time round the group has traded in the homemade DIY approach for a more hi-fi studio sound, which, thanks to Broom’s magic, remains just as raw and wild as ever, but with a whole new level of focus and intensity.