South London band ALASKALASKA have today revealed “Bees” the second enrapturing cut from their highly anticipated debut record The Dots – set for release via Marathon Artists on May 3, 2019. “Bees” is accompanied with another exceptional, disorientating visual – a found footage film by Ashley Rommelrath and the band which uses hives full of insects expertly spliced clips of everything from the now infamous “Egg Boy” incident to the London riots. The Dots is now available on pre-order HERE.
“Bees” is a critique of consumer society with the band’s singer, guitarist and principal songwriter Lucinda Duarte-Holman explaining further: “‘Bees’ is a song about making sure we continue to ask questions, demand answers, and consistently make more progressive choices today than we did yesterday.” Previous single “Moon” is about Duarte-Holman’s monthly cycle and “an insight into [her] neurosis“. Both tracks are perfectly at home on a record packed with fluid, intelligent and utterly remarkable left-of-centre pop songs.
Melding together those disparate influences in off-kilter pop and jazz gives their upcoming debut record the push-pull feeling of a group existing without any boundaries, painting their influences in their own broad brushstrokes in the same way as Björk, Kate Bush, Arca or Fever Ray before them. Whether it’s consumer society (“Bees”), vulnerability (“Skin” and “Sweat”), a willingness to be loved (“Arrows”), or ruminations on the nature of creativity itself (“Tough Love”), the record deals in the countless intimacies and idiosyncrasies which make up a human’s sense of self.
Their debut album was written and recorded between Rieley’s living room and a more traditional, professional studio set-up (with co-producer Tom Carmichael), and the band limited their takes of each part to just a handful of attempts in order to retain the spontaneity of a first take’s ‘eureka’ moment. “For most of the songs, we build on guides that we had – rough, scratchy demos,” Rieley explains, “a fair bit of the audio is taken straight from them, because we got things that we liked, and didn’t think we could reproduce.” It’s a process the helps The Dots retain its humanity, rather than losing it to over-polishing. “If it works, why get rid of it? It felt important to keep that element of it,” says Rieley. “Sometimes there’s a beauty in the roughness,” adds Duarte-Holman. “We all really enjoy the rough edges – the bits that make it growl.”
The Dots is testament to the beauty of those more roughed-up elements. From the dirty, dingy intimacies of the human condition, to the musical happy accidents and living room recordings that made it to the final record, it’s a release that presents ALASKALASKA as masters of twisting the day-to-day into something dazzling. “I think that’s always the most interesting stuff,” admits Rieley, “Where there’s an accessibility to it, but something else that confuses you, or challenges you.”