“Glass” By ALASKALASKA
ALASKALASKA have dropped their new album, Still Life, via Marathon Records (Courtney Barnett). It comes ahead of their 13-date UK tour supporting Porridge Radio, which kicks off next week. Still Life finds writers and producers Lucinda Duarte-Holman and Fraser Rieley embracing a more free-form electronica while exploring the privileges associated with modern domestic existence and the pressures that come with technology, social media and climate change. To celebrate the album release, they also share new album single “Glass.”
Lucinda says of the track: “Glass is about the unhealthy relationships some of us have with work. Do you live to work, or do you work to live? Do you feel like you have a choice? It feels like a lot of people are starting to re-asses their work/life balance after the effects of the last couple of years. Ultimately I think there needs to be a shift in work ethics in general. Bring in the 4-day working week and pay people properly for their time and energy!”
The last few years have seen the band–who rose up in parallel with both the South London jazz scene and the post-punk movement of Brixton Windmill before going on to open up for acts like Tame Impala, Nilüfer Yanya and Hot Chip – navigate new ways of working. While Still Life was never intended to be a ‘pandemic album’, it was ultimately realised and enhanced by this moment in time. Coincidentally, Duarte-Holman was already thinking about our habitual nature as a society and questioning what that means for us moving forward while doing the bulk of the writing, in its skeletal form at least, back in 2019. These themes were then exacerbated and further crystalised with the onset of the pandemic, a time that also meant ALASKALASKA were unable to get their regular supporting band in the same room, resulting in Duarte-Holman and Rieley embarking on a 24/7 endless stream of noise, soundscape, and consciousness that, like it or loathe it, only the 21st century 6G world can facilitate.
The limitations of that time allowed them to explore sounds they’d never quite had the freedom to play with, resulting in the band adventuring into more electronic soundscapes, creating a unique and infectious bed of indie-electronica in which their deeply reflective lyrics sit. Influences shine through both in a fluid exploration of genre and a tender, always-focused lyricism–it’s the methods of Björk, Fever Ray, LCD Soundsystem and Arthur Russell, and the contemporary melodies of Metronomy and Porches that excite them.
Production on Still Life kick-started in August 2021 with producer and musician Jas Shaw (of Simian Mobile Disco), nestled in the idyllic Kentish countryside, opposing the somewhat grimier setting the album was written in. This collaboration, added to their ideas and maturing musical sensibilities, allowed the record to bloom into a beautiful, hard-to-describe thing that embraces a more free-form electronica. It also finds lyricist Duarte-Holman at her most contemplative,”… touching on themes of the beautifully mundane and the privilege of being able to recognise those things.” That is what a Still Life often depicts, explains Duarte-Holman, “…it can be a celebration of material pleasures or a warning of the ephemerality or overconsumption of these things – and of the impermanence of human life.” If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s not to take anything for granted.
Lyrics are as wide-reaching as the sonic textures – “Growing Up Pains (Unni’s song)”, written for Duarte-Holman’s close friend’s newborn, considers how it might feel to bring a child into today’s world. “Look at you now, in a space age… earthquake, heartbreak, growing up pains…” depicts our intrinsic demand for interconnectivity at any cost, and our desensitisation to the bigger issues, like a looming climate emergency. The title track delves into the irony of connecting to each other through screens, though being largely used for our own vanity, distraction, or surveillance. There’s a gnawing frustration with the status quo of working life on “Glass” and a longing for the past on the aching “Simple”. Duarte-Holman describes “TV Dinners” as a stream of consciousness poem; the only track written during the first UK lockdown, and “the Eureka! moment in terms of threading Still Life together.”
1. Growing Up Pains (Unni’s Song)
2. TV Dinners
3. Person A
4. Still Life
6. Rise And Shine
7. Get Me High
11. Long Lasting Pleasure
ALASKALASKA 2022 UK tour
Sun Oct 16th – Ipswich, UK @ The Baths
Thu Oct 20th – Sheffield, UK @ The Foundry
Fri Oct 21st – Southampton, UK @ The 1865
Sat Oct 22nd – Exeter, UK @ Exeter Phoenix
Mon Oct 24th – Nottingham, UK @ Metronome
Tue Oct 25th – Bristol, UK @ Trinity
Wed Oct 26th – Cambridge, UK @ Junction
Fri Oct 28th – Glasgow, UK @ St. Lukes
Sat Oct 29th – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Academy 2
Sun Oct 30th – Leeds, UK @ Irish Centre
Tue Nov 1st – Brighton, UK @ The Old Market
Wed Nov 2nd – Brighton, UK @ The Old Market
Thu Nov 3rd – London, UK @ SBE
supporting Porridge Radio
Purchase Still Life by ALASKAALASKA HERE
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