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Tears For Fears break out the acoustic guitars for new single No Small Thing

Tears For Fears have shared a new single from their first studio album in 17 years. No Small Thing is the second track to be released by the British duo in recent months, following the title track from their hotly anticipated comeback album, The Tipping Point.

And No Small Thing is a change of pace, with Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith stripping everything back to basics and reaching for the acoustic guitars to write a song that opens with neo folk, before building towards a more intense and chaotic denouement. 

The accompanying video was inspired by Godfrey Reggio’s avant-garde documentary Koyaanisqatsi (1982), and is cut from found footage that depicts the inherent tension between personal freedom and collective responsibility.  

“No Small Thing feels like it could have been a song from a seventies or sixties acoustic folk album with how the track starts,” says Smith. “The fact that we felt confident enough to go from there to the end of the song to where it’s just absolute mayhem speaks to that sense of freedom, and that’s our comfort zone musically.”

Tears for Fears

(Image credit: Frank Ockenfels)

Written by both Smith and Orzabal in early 2020, just as the themes of personal freedom and collective responsibility would be front and centre of the public’s consciousness, No Small Thing started out with a Smith riff that was inspired by early Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. Then, says Orzabal, it all came together with a song that had the “depth, heart and soul” to complete the album.

“It was the complete opposite of what we had been trying to do for many years – searching for the elusive, modern hit single,” says Orzabal. “We felt suddenly unencumbered, free if you like, no longer worrying about the market, about success, but drawing on influences from our childhoods. It was at this point that the whole album started opening up. No Small Thing was the key, the thing that turned a red light green.”

The Tipping Point will be released on 25 February 2022 through Concord Records, and is available to preorder now. 

Tears For Fears announced The Tipping Point World Tour last month, which kicks off in Ohio at the Riverbend Music Center on 20 May 2022, taking in many stopping points across the United States before picking up at the QE2 Arena in Telford for a UK leg. See Tears For Fears for full dates and ticket information. And check out the video for The Tipping Point below.

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.