London trio Shield Your Eyes are the embodiment of the DIY ethic.
They finance their own records and tour stupidly hard,
backed by nothing more than a leaky transit van.
This release is their first full length album and as the second
opener ‘Oranges’ stumbles out of the speaker you can practically
smell the gig sweat and stale beer.
The influences are obvious, Cribs, Sonic Youth, Pixies, anything Steve
Albini has ever recorded in fact, drums constantly clatter,
guitars whirl away and the tracks are about as polished as a brand new sheet of sandpaper.
It’s fine, occasionally it’s good, but the tracks never go anywhere, with frenzied instrumental sections giving way to snatches of vocal, but nothing
that you can hold on to. Your
‘Sheild Em’ simply adds to the growing evidence that the DIY ethic ain’t
worth a thing without tunes. Disappointing.
This photo shoot and interview has been a long time coming – the whole of 2009 in fact.
After Natasha’s studio time stood in our way long before ‘Two Suns’’ April
release, Dazed & Confused beat us to the prize with a shoot in California’s Joshua Tree Desert;Your
the place where Natasha conceived her planetary second album – an idealistic landscape hardly for countryside grannies.
Then there were the never-ending tours, which meant we’d have to wait until Bat For Lashes won the Mercury Prize in September.
Only she didn’t win. “I suppose being nominated for the Mercury for the second time was a great highlight of the year,” she says
“because I’d been quite heavily involved in the production of this record.
That’s really important to me.
like to write a good chorus. And I didn’t want to shy away from
that just to be cool on purpose.
I thought, well, if I’m going to write a pop song, put a beat on it and make it lush. I could have dumbed it down and done it on a one string violin, or
something, but it would have
been wasted, and to be totally honest the record company did say, ‘Natasha, we need to use this single to hopefully
get you on the radio, because otherwise this campaign could fall flat on its face and you’ve done all that hard work’.
And it’s by no means a cheesy pop song – it’s quite dark. I’m glad. I tried to write a song that teenage girls could sing into their hair brushes, and I did that.”
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