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Dutch Uncles: O Shudder


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From the press release:
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“Six years into Dutch Uncles’ flourishing career, the idiosyncratic art-popologists return with a new album that sees them further distilling and refining their signature sound, marrying rock bombast with classical arrangements, acoustic instrumentation with smart synthetic pop. O Shudder is their most direct record to date, the sound of a wildly witty band well and truly finding their stride, whilst lyrically tackling the growing pains of being twentysomething in a generic Northern suburbia; according to front man Duncan Wallis, the album covers themes including “pregnancy, social media, terrorism, divorce, sexual dysfunction, job seeking, health scares, doubt, love”. The album was recorded with long term collaborator Brendan Williams in three locations; at a studio in the heart of the Welsh valleys, above a Salford pub and, for the acoustic instruments, in the natural reverb of Salford’s Peel Hall. The band were meticulous in tweaking their synth sounds so they’d fit seamlessly with the harp, xylophone, marimba, string and woodwind sounds that populate the record. Sources of inspiration for the record included The Blue Nile, Kate Bush’s third album Never For Ever, Igor Stravinsky, Japan and lyrically John Cooper Clarke, Sparks, Ian Dury and Prefab Sprouts’ album From Langley Park to Memphis. O Shudder’s narrative involves a twentysomething everyman, a version of Wallis perhaps, agonising over awkward questions and situations arising from his past and future. “Babymaking” kicks things off with the protagonist evaluating his suitability for parenthood. “Upsilon” tackles the his interaction with and insecurities relating to social media, including reminiscences of quitting MySpace as a teenager. “Decided Knowledge” tells of the impact on the mind of the protagonist after a failed job interview process, whilst “In n Out” sketches a grammatically poor approach to breaking down the friend zone. The album culminates in “Tidal Weight” in which the protagonist’s social paranoia and internal angst reach such a level that, during a self administered health check, he imagines his body to have dematerialised. Wallis explains that “it felt like a suitable narrative, as we ourselves approach our thirties where a lot of people are expected to feel sure about who they are and where they are going and just don’t”. All set to shudder and stun, and induce plenty of hip swivelling, Dutch Uncles have delivered on their youthful potential and solved their own particular Rubik’s cube, bringing their unclassifiable pop music into clear and precise focus.”
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O Shudder is out now via Memphis Industries; listen to “Decided Knowledge” below.
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About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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