The most exciting new band to break out of Wales in recent years Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard have today shared “Yourself” — a new track taken from their heavily-anticipated debut albumBackhand Deals, which will be released on February 25, 2022 via Missing Piece Records / Communion. The band was also recently included in SXSW’s initial lineup announcement for the 2022 music festival.
Speaking about “Yourself,” vocalist and guitarist Tom Rees explains: “Basically I had never realised how incapable I am of living by myself until my girlfriend Carlota went to live in Venice for three months to work at the Biennale and I found myself eating corn flakes dry out of the box for dinner, just thumbing them in my gob asking myself where it all went wrong. It’s natural to miss someone of course though I think I took it to new heights.”
He adds: “This one’s about my reluctance to let in about those feelings to her though, big ‘naaaah I’m totally fine I’m doing great!’ vibes, real male-engrained-denial-of-true-feelings vibes, I didn’t think I was capable of that until this all happened so it’s good to know I’m just as dysfunctional as everyone else. Not to mention I think it’s still potentially problematic that the first time I had a real go at writing a love song it was kind of all about me anyway, go figure.”
“Yourself” follows the album’s lead single “You” and album cuts “Crescent Man vs Demolition Dan” and “New Age Millennial Magic.” The tracks were praised by Under the Radar, The Line Of Best Fit, DIY, Dork, Upset, and Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop, who named “New Age Millennial Magic” a best new track, praising the song’s “good riffs, good energy, good lead vocals, super catchy chorus, and quite a bit of satire.”
As presented on their 2020 debut The Non-Stop EP, the band – Rees, guitarist Zac White, drummer Ethan Hurst and Rees’ brother and bassist Eddie – draw from classic ‘70s rock with a distinctly 21st century twist, dragging the sounds of T-Rex and Steely Dan kicking and screaming into the 2020s. With Backhand Deals, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard ripped up the rulebook – a rejection of rock music’s more archaic ideals, their debut album plunges into Tom Rees’ exploration of honesty and authenticity, and untangles what it means to be a “rock star.” The key to this demystification is Rees’ sharp wit — using sarcasm and humour to keep the listener in limbo, and in turn, leading their audience to face their own thoughts.
“With the record we’re really obsessed with denying our traditional influences by overwhelming the music with contemporary references so we don’t sound like your dad’s cover band who are really good when they don’t overdo the Guinness and the lead singer remembers his lyric sheet,” says Rees. “We know deep down we love ‘70s music too much to just abandon it in pursuit of being considered relevant, so it seems like the right thing to do to use modern recording techniques and contemporary references to make something inherently new.”
Taking lyrical cues from the surreal, never-ending doomsday news cycle, the album pairs their trademark ‘70s references and aesthetic with contemporary storylines, and influences from modern classic songwriters such as Father John Misty, whose 2017 album Pure Comedy was the frontman’s primary obsession around the time Backhand Deals started taking shape.
“The record allowed us to discuss the thoughts we have about our lives, the lives of people from Cardiff, the lives of people from Wales, and the lives of people from everywhere whilst openly admitting that we know nothing and we’re just part-time-opinion-havers. The longer we’re a band, I realise that all we ever want to do is effect change in people’s lives and to do that disingenuously would make me feel slimy. So let’s do it honestly in any way possible. Rock isn’t dead, it doesn’t need ‘resurrecting’ or ‘regurgitating’; it needs acknowledging for what it is, and it’s everywhere. If we should ever be considered a band that is ‘bringing rock music back’ I think I would shed a tear — rock should be moving forwards, not backwards.”
Backhand Deals is out February 25, 2022 via Missing Piece Records / Communion.