Out this Friday – Wasuremono “Are You OK?” | See live in London on Weds 19th June
Wasuremono to release new album Are You OK? this Friday, June 14th, via The Wilderness Records
Playing live at London’s Sebright Arms
on Wednesday, June 19th
Listen to latest single “Self-Help” now
Wasuremono will release their new album Are You OK? this Friday, June 14th, on The Wilderness Records. After a run of appearances at festivals including Live at Leeds, Stag & Dagger, The Great Escape, Dot to Dot this spring, the band will be celebrating with a headline show at London’s Sebright Arms next week.
Recently, the band released another taster of the album in the form of the brilliant new single “Self-Help”, that has had been featured on several BBC 6Music shows and lead to the band racking up over 200,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
The brainchild of Wasuremono, William Southward, explained the meaning behind the song:
“‘Self-Help’, was the last song to be written. It’s got a Prince kinda vibe, but with low tuned guitars and gospel influenced backing vocals, with call and response. The running theme is one of optimism and feeling less alone, but there is also a sense of urgency to this song, of reaching out; “All I really wanna say, is I wanna help ya”. Essentially, it’s an uplifting and jubilant song that’s supposed to make you feel good and feel like we are all in it together. The hard panned toms of the Linn give it space to breathe and a slightly tribal feel too in the choruses.”
‘Are You OK?’
Previous singles, ‘Are You OK?’ and ‘Lonely Type’ have been picked up by the likes of 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq, and Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, and Dork recently described the release as “…sure to be a riot of synths and fun. A magic combo”.
With the enlistment of friends Madelaine Ryan, Isaac Phillips, and Phoebe Phillips, Southward’s songs come to life. Wasuremono have spent the spring performing across the UK in support of Are You OK?, with stops at festivals including Live at Leeds, The Great Escape, and Dot To Dot, and gigs upcoming at Bluedot (alongside Hot Chip, Jon Hopkins, Self Esteem and more) as well as a headline show at London’s Sebright Arms on June 19th.
See Wasuremono live:
June 19th – Sebright Arms, London
July 21st – Bluedot Festival (The Lovell Stage), Cheshire
July 26th – Farmfestival, Somerset
More on ‘Are You OK?’
The Japanese word ‘wasuremono’ or, ‘忘れ物’ in kanji characters, roughly translates to “something forgotten or left behind.” Within the first few bars of Wasuremono’s new album Are You OK?, feelings of isolation, fear, defensiveness, and inherited reservations, are forgotten or left behind. It may sound like a tall task, but somehow, they nail it. “We will find you, we will, we will work it out!”, the climactic track ‘Self-Help’ reassures.
2018 was quite a year for Wasuremono; with the release of their self-titled debut album, Steve Lamacq’s invite to record a live session for BBC 6 Music at the legendary Maida Vale Studios, Lauren Laverne describing them as a “favourite”, supporting both the The Flaming Lips and Phosphorescent on tour and playing at iconic venues such as Shepherd’s Bush Empire – no mean feat considering the debut album was conceived and recorded in a garden shed.
Are You OK? was also written and recorded by multi-instrumentalist William Southward in his shed. “It’s a tiny space at the bottom of the garden, crammed with old instruments I have been collecting over the years and the sounds of birds occasionally spilling into the recordings”, explains Southward. With the enlistment of friends Madelaine Ryan, Isaac Phillips, and Phoebe Phillips, Southward’s songs come to life. Are You OK? is an immersive kaleidoscopic collection that plunges the listener deep into an invigorating world of sanguine synths, radiant harmonies and salient percussion that is repeatedly sublime. Although the atmosphere of the album is mostly one of hope and assurance, it stylistically travels through baggy electronica, mesmeric psychedelia, wonderfully futuristic (or is it wonderfully retro?) pop, to off-kilter almost surf-rock on tracks like ‘A Lesson To Learn’.
The enveloping percussion on the release was central to its creation, explains Southward, “Most of this album was written around an old Linn Drum Computer that I managed to get my hands on last year. I had always really liked the distinct 80’s sound of the Linn Drum, made famous by the likes of Prince, Gary Numan, and Peter Gabriel, and it was a fun and unique process writing songs around the beats I programmed in.” Southward puts the fizz and pop of the record down to “all the songs on the album being the original demos; There always seems to be a magic in the original take of a song, that’s impossible to put your finger on and equally hard to replicate when you then try to re-record it.”
Despite the palpable emotion and fragility in the vocals, the layered production and distinctive melodies work to shift the focus from the intensity of the lyrical content, something Southward has recognised, “Unconsciously a lot of the songs I have written over the last year seem to explore mental health at some level, so ‘Are You OK? seemed a fitting title. I liked the idea of sugar coating the ‘Are You OK?’ slogan, which is something we can all be guilty of doing when portraying our lives, whether that’s online or to each other in person. Underneath all this though, is the more serious question that I think we should be asking each other and ourselves; Are You OK? Let’s talk…”
‘Are You OK?’ Tracklisting:
1, Are You OK?
2, Lonely Type
4, Don’t Play With Ghosts (For Olive)
5, Never Felt This Way Before
7, One Last Trip
8, A Lesson To Learn
9, New York
10, Nothing Is Easy
11, Hail Ra!
Find Wasuremono online: