From the creative minds of post-punk heroes Lol Tolhurst (The Cure), Budgie (Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Creatures), and the celebrated Jacknife Lee (U2, R.E.M., Bloc Party) emerges an anthology of songs dedicated to exploring the enigma that is the City of Angels. The album christened “Los Angeles” is poised for a November 3rd debut, courtesy of Play It Again Sam.
With the latest offering from this illustrious trio—Lol Tolhurst x Budgie x Jacknife Lee—listeners are treated to the compelling new single, “Ghosted At Home.” This haunting and poignant piece is graced with the indelible vocal presence of Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream, The Jesus and Mary Chain), who crafts a narrative tale that for many can cut too close to the bone.
“In life it is rare to hear someone telling their story and for us to recognize it as our own, says Budgie. “It is rarer still when that story relates to a complex, dangerous and psychologically damaging relationship. To induce this feeling of empathy is perhaps the gift and skill of a great lyricist and writer. Bobby Gillespie is one of those writers.”
“The first sound you hear on ‘Ghosted at Home’ is also the first recording we made together in the sacred area of Yosemite, and with it, we attached all our hopes and expectations for the music we were making,” adds Tolhurst. “It seemed appropriate that the first instrument we played in the forest for our record was also the most ancient – a drum.”
Augmenting the allure of the track is a haunting monochromatic visual, orchestrated by Julian Gabriel Bendaña, a piece tinged with the essence of masters like David Lynch, Hitchcock, and Chris Cunningham. In an intriguing twist, the ensemble captures their eerie performance using Ring doorbell cameras, bridging locales from LA to Berlin.
“This was our attempt at soundtracking Polanski’s ‘Repulsion,’ if Serge Gainsbourg and Can were among the musicians playing along with us,” muses Jacknife Lee. “We got a groove and improvised over it and ended up with this. We were aiming for a sense of claustrophobia that Bobby skilfully picked up on when we sent him the track. This is another example of how in tune we were with our collaborators on the album even though we were sometimes separated from them.”
Peering into the incandescent heart of contemporary Los Angeles, this album sketches a nuanced vignette of the metropolis that cradled its inception. Los Angeles emerges as a tableau of contrasts: a vast expanse pregnant with promise yet, in the same breath, an unforgiving terrain echoing the desolation of a mirage of paradise. Here, aspirational visions shatter on reality’s cruel precipice; racial inequalities cast elongated shadows; and the labyrinthine issue of homelessness evades solution.
The looming shadow of geopolitical tensions, reminiscent of a ‘new Cold War,’ as well as the aftershocks of the pandemic, accentuate the apprehensive undercurrent threaded throughout the album. Los Angeles refuses to merely parrot bleak truths, however. It pulses with a dire, frightening fervour with its relentless cadence, instrumentals, and a chorus of unparalleled vocal prowess.
A fascinating ensemble of guest performers breathes life into the album, a veritable constellation of music industry stars. In addition to Gillespie, the album features The Edge (U2), avant-garde artist Lonnie Holley, Mary Lattimore, Starcrawler Wildchild, Arrow de Wilde, Mark Bowen (IDLES), Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock, James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) and a host of others.
Los Angeles is out on November 3rd.
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