Following the success of recent release “Love Is”, the next step for Liverpool five-piece ETCHES is a double A-side, completing a series of tracks recorded with producer James Bragg (Gengahr). These recordings represent a maturation of aesthetic and showcase ETCHES’ obsession with their craft; every element a carefully considered individual part of the greater whole. The result is rich, complex and compelling.
Dealing with themes of compromised intimacy in an increasingly virtual world, “Human Façade” is inspired by an ex-adult industry whistle blower. Drawing on message board confessions from professionals and consumers involved in online adult culture, the song speculates on the effects that pornography can have on the psyche, on relationships, on our interactions with others and on one’s most primordial impulses. Opening with a strummed bassline and minimalist beat, “Human Façade” starts out sparsely and builds throughout, hitting a crescendo that is ETCHES at their most ambitious, combining elements of prog, electro and psychedelia.
In contrast, “My New Empire” takes inspiration from 60’s Motown and soul. Rich layers of harmony interplay with melodic guitar textures and a lo-fi rhythm section. “My New Empire” is a commentary on living in a time of epistemic struggle in a post-truth world. The ever-evolving conflict between mainstream and alternative narratives leaves us lost without any reliable sense of reality. The underlying question of “My New Empire” is the search for concrete meaning and truth. When anyone with enough power, money or influence, can create their own truth, how does one know what we can believe or trust, and how do these influences impact on our behaviour?