British Sea Power changes name to avoid connotations of ‘antagonistic nationalism’ | British maritime power
The British group British Sea Power changed its name to Sea Power, to avoid connotations of “isolationist and antagonistic nationalism”.
In a statement on their website, they say the original name arose out of “elemental might of the oceans”, with a reference to British naval supremacy made with “tongue-in-cheek humor”. The idea of a British maritime power in the historical sense of the term was an obsolete thing. It was just the name of a rock band. Now, 20 years later, we are in the process of recasting the name. In recent times, there has been a rise of a certain type of nationalism in this world – an isolationist and antagonistic nationalism that we do not want to run the risk of being confused with. It has become evident that it is possible to misunderstand the name British Sea Power, especially if someone is unfamiliar with the band or their recordings.
The group – based in Sussex, Cumbria and the West of Scotland – highlighted their love for Britain: “We all feel extremely lucky to have grown up on these islands. Many of our songs are filled with love and admiration for this place. We love these lands… We have always been internationalists in our mindset, which is evident from songs like Waving Flags, a hymn to pan-European idealism. We’ve always wanted to be an internationalist group, but maybe having a specific nation-state on our behalf wasn’t the smartest way to demonstrate it.
Playing a strident approach to indie rock, Sea Power released their debut album in 2003, and released seven albums in all. Their biggest hit on the charts came with Do You Like Rock Music? of 2008, which reached 10th place in the album charts and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. They toured with groups including The Killers and recorded four soundtracks – the most recent, for the video game Disco Elysium, won a Bafta Game award in 2020 for best music.
The sextet’s first album since 2017, Everything Was Forever, will be released in February 2022, with a single, Two Fingers, now available.
Last year, American country artists Dixie Chicks and Lady Antebellum changed their names to Chicks and Lady A, respectively, to avoid connotations with the pre-war era in the southern United States, when slavery was allowed. Post-hardcore American group Slaves – not to be confused with the British punk duo – also announced that they would change their name last year, while expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.