In this week of loss (that 20JFG is totally not ready to deal with just yet) we’d like to talk about a record that we missed in 2015. Or indeed, to talk about a video we missed in 2014. And a band we’ve missed a great deal.
Back before this particular writer joined with the hive mind, 20JFG helped produce a series of videos for Telepathe. You can still read about them here (although the embedding got messed up with the redesign). I made one. I finally met the band when they played at a night curated by Dev Hynes back around the release of Dance Mother (2008) but was too drunk and too shy to mumble much more articulate than ‘that was awesome’ (which their show was). The last time we saw them was when they swung through Brighton and played a set that sounded like all our Freestyle dreams wrapped in smoky red light. It too, was awesome.
And then, to us, they disappeared.
You see, Dance Mother came out on a big grown up label and something happened that meant that its follow up didn’t. Busy and Melissa moved to LA, got obsessed with Sci-Fi and cults (and basically lived the 20JFG dream) while recording the album that would become Destroyer. And it’s great. Really great. But more on that later. This was all back in 2012 and hell, they got a single out in 2012 so all should have been there for the taking…
But it wasn’t. For whatever reason it wasn’t.
And it wasn’t until last year that Destroyer came out on their own label BZML for digital and Young Cubs for tape and vinyl. A year before (in 2014) they produced a video for the track I’m going to cover today. Here it is:
And this, this is why we missed Telepathe:
The thing about living in hauntology’s world: everything’s fucking timeless. Drown Around Me’s beauty is not dulled by sitting on a hard drive for three years. Nor is not dulled (in my ears) by the lateness of my discovery. It has sat there, calm and patient, a crystalline ballad. A moment of ecstasy perfectly preserved within layers of synths. Every chord, every chorus, every wash of synths across the fragile drum loop calibrated to steal you away into the timelessness of the night.
What this accumulation of dates and performances and videos and music amounts to is that glimpse-behind-the-curtain feeling that the good ones can slip through the fingers of the hidden hand (totally murdering that metaphor). Just making relentlessly good music isn’t enough. Telepathe simply shouldn’t be exiled within a flickering netherworld, snatching back their music and fitfully shoving it through into our realm. Without fanfare or acclaim. We missed you and we’re sorry.
You can get Destroyer from Young Cubs here.