We have to admit it : being part of a duo is tough. It is like standing with your friend on top of a volcano. You never know what is going to hurt you the most : lava, or the fact that your dear friend pushed you in it. That’s probably how Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell, from the iconic British indie-rock band Blood Red Shoes felt a few months ago. Ready to hear the story ? Time to get tragic, folks.
Hard times, good times
After four brilliant albums, relying only on themselves, the pressure went crazy between the Blood Red Shoes. Laura-Mary slammed the door. Then, she took the first plane to LA, and drowned her sorrow in endless parties. Shortly after, she broke her arm, and wasn’t able to touch her guitar for much too long. Meanwhile, Steven was seriously pissed and writing about it. In a word : chaos.
And this is how “Get Tragic” was born : emerging from the band’s ashes like a freaking phoenix. This is also why this album feels like a second start, and sounds so different from everything we were accustomed to.
Get tragic, but in style
Get Tragic is not a classic indie rock LP. It’s an indie pop LP. Yes, Laura-Mary’s roaring riffs are still here. Yes, Steven’s drums didn’t get any softer. Songs like the very addictive “Bangsar” or the ear-wormy “Mexican Dress” are here to remind us of that. But there’s a new lad in town and his name is Synthetizer. Keyboards are everywhere in this fifth album. Actually, that’s not a bad thing. It gives an electro feel, and plays with nineties-like sonorities with grace : listen to “Beverly”, for example , “Howl” or the amazing “Elijah”.
We quite enjoyed the undercovered rage that lies within the lyrics. Steven and Laura-Mary settle their scores song after song, punchline after punchline, and the first song “Eye to Eye” gives no doubt about it : “We don’t see eye to eye”. The guitar sounds poisonous, the synthesizers feels sour, the drumbeats are bitter, Laura-Mary and Steven constantly bite their tongues (big up for “Anxiety”, here). The anger is concealed yet you can feel its weight in every note. There’s something very raw and honest about this LP, hiding behind a not so opaque musical veil.
Get Tragic captures the long and painful healing process of a band that was about to explode. Thank god, the blast ended up being a creative one and this album was born : hurts to say it, but breaking up never sounded so good.
Did you get the chance to hear “Get Tragic” ? Share your thoughts in the comments area !0