Has Labour soft-launched a house banger as its election campaign song to replace D:Ream?

Labour appears to have soft-launched the election campaign song to soundtrack their political return, The Independent can reveal.

The song in question is the 2023 house banger “Better Times” by Låpsley & KC Lights, which played before and after Keir Starmer’s first big campaign speech on Monday.

This choice seemed all the more deliberate when it was played again before and after shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves’s speech today.

Upbeat and summery, the lyrics are reminiscent of Labour’s 1997 election song “Things Can Only Get Better” by D:Ream, which was boomed loudly over speakers outside of Downing Street as Rishi Sunak announced the July election last week.

“Better Times” includes lyrics such as “Wave the year goodbye” and “Moving on to better times”, which echo the sense of darkness moving into light heralded by the 1997 tune that came to epitomise Labour’s landslide victory.

Other notable lyrics include “Through the dark times” and “To the new light”, which is described as the “sunshine”.

News of the new soft launch comes after “Things Can Only Get Better” reached the top 10 of the iTunes chart within a day of Bray’s decision to play it outside Downing Street last week.

Sir Keir Starmer (PA Wire)
Sir Keir Starmer (PA Wire)

“Better Times” was released by Toolroom Records who described it as “offering a glimpse of a bright summer to come” and said it was “another classic record in the making” at the time of its 2023 release.

The song also notably features artists from the UK – singer Låpsley, 28, from Merseyside, and KC Lights, a Scottish DJ from Glasgow.

The Labour Party won the 1997 General Election with a landslide victory of a 179-seat majority and a total of 418 seats.

It was the party’s first victory in 23 years and the party held onto power until 2010, when the Conservative Government was voted in.

Steve Bray, who is famed for his anti-Brexit campaigning, said he chose to drown out Sunak’s speech last week (22 May) with “Things Can Only Get Better” it was “the top trolling song for the Conservatives”.

“I thought about what would be the best trolling tune if [Sunak] announced the election,” he said. “And of course, it had to be ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. Because everybody can relate to that and the 1997 election.”

While the Labour Party had permission to use the D:Ream song for their 1997 election campaign, it is not known if they have official permission to use “Better Times”.

The Independent has reached out to Toolroom Records and the Labour Party for comment.