Second part to a 2013 interview with Hella Better Dancer

You’re getting close to something golden good that doesn’t diminish through time. The Bob Dylan the parents like, the vinyls etched in atemporal vibration, you need no fresh up-to-dateness when everything’s about the good rather than the new.

So here’s an interview I did 13 months ago with one of this blog’s favourite bands, and one of the few indie artists whom we’ve followed consistently with an insatiable interest, Hella Better Dancer (above).


This is part 2,
Click here for part 1.

We obviously weren’t as confident playing,
when we were younger

You obviously don’t want to play
when you’re not confident,
you end up playing it…

…kinda rubbishly

What else have we done this year?

We did our own sort of,
we released an EP, called Living Room,

We really liked having the control

Josh produced it all

We really liked it having much closer to us
So we thought why not do it,
but with actual drums and stuff,
so we did that;
that’s called Sleep

We really liked doing that

So we’ve decided to do that again,
we’re on a 2nd mix,
but it’s still got a while to go…

{a few months later; the video and release of ‘Sleeptalking’}

If you want a job done well, do it yourself,
well, with the resources we have

So, so when you go about making the video for instance…, we were talking about comfort zone when you perform, so where’s the innovation coming from? What’s the philosophy of HBD? What’s within your comfort zone, but also feeling true to yourselves as musicians?

This is going to sound ridiculous, but
feeling happy

saying ‘this is good’
the cycle of good and happy,
like personality,
is so interchangeable,
obviously on a loop

I think that’s our only ethos

Yeah… yeah.

With the originality part of that question,
all the original bit is kind of accidental
you listen to this band, and you think
‘oh I want to play a bass line like this’,
they listen to something else and it
obviously comes together in a different way

I don’t think we ever think
‘oh this needs to be really original’.
If you’re thinking that, you’ve
gone wrong somewhere.

It should be a by-product

I think, these days,
we’re trying to adequately express things

But in terms of like
/making a new sound/; it’s like ‘why’,
‘why do you want to make a new sound’

“Party all the time”, have fun
No, we like the DIY stuff, nice,
it’s friendly

We’re always trying to involve people who we know are good & credible 
Soph’s mum (‘that’s my mum, she’s an artist) – Living Room artwork -

Maureen Nathan

Girl from my school – Spring Demos artwork -

Cressida Djambov

The head boy of my school – Brother video

Jackson Caines -

Feeling good, involving nice people

Not quite a community, but a collection of-

People we know, like, and
respect their work

That’s one of the best things about doing this kind of thing
Connect with different people in a way you wouldn’t do otherwise
Not in a scary way, in a friendly way

It’s about having fun and meeting nice people,
playing with friends’ bands etc.
as much as it is about playing good shows.



have a nice day!

And our heads revolve around to the centre of the circle of sofas where we had just landed. The moment of intraspection, nerve-chewing, has passed away from a young band being asked, by young me, abstract and practically unnecessary-feeling questions about innovation into a fully functioning palm mould, 4 fingers prints attached, demonstrating muscle memory, reciting the /some people/ they’ve made contact over music, and how that’s fulfilled them as much as their own shows. There’s a charge of friendly and very real meaning surging beneath all the honest unpretentious agreement and yeahs and kindas and likes, and that’s the charge, some socially fulfilled instinct, that has me here, 13 months later, writing it all up. Please, enjoy the opportunity to observe an in-depth story unflowing above, and onwards, to the second half of the interview.

to be continued…



Disperse White Light

It’s pretty special when my humble silent hobble around the internet, around for music, lights, songs, IS COMPLETELY INTERRUPTED by something far more big sprinting time best than I was expecting, hoping, clawing; when the foot tapping on the floor, turns to my whole, showers my torso with big morning /energy/, i’m rocking strong, the head no longer stationary, moving hard. Every moment has its movement, and I’ve just uncovered that very movement in this music. MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND and her 16th September album THIS IS MY HAND (caps my own). Caps my own! This is my hand / This is my choice/ This is my time…. The list bullets to a point onwards, My Brightest Diamond homes in on where it’s needed, punching out indenting stretching skin shapes, purple shining metallic mould of a heart beating PROPER bass, proper beat, no wonk, no scew, no criss, no cross, just all out, cleared out punching soul, drum and eyes wide, staring convicts, through the big thick black steel bars. A beautiful white light surge opens wide, a voice cradled by love and anger, but alive, hugely. Stealing breathes between I AM A LOVER AND A KILLER…LOVER!…KILLER!….the /synth/ roams around it all in a cloud of deadly perfume smoke, the bars crawled whilst her crescendo stamps, stamps big black boots on the face of the earth, earthly parodies, rolling on, spinning on, the eyes remain, dead straight.

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And I’m back to the first of the three preview songs of this album, Pressure, a song that begins with 23 seconds of unbreaking unstoppable drum roll, crescendoing madly, crazy and surefire to razz up whatever coax you were hobbling before it all began. Back to the beginning, where it all became escalatingly funny, dark comedy of confidence and body did the dance according. I TRY TO DO IT ALRIGHT. Out of breathe and with nowhere to go; don’t listen to this in the office unless the idea of getting up mid-computer and dramatically departing the premises of your day-to-day seems plausible, half-desirable, this music will genuinely tempt you. Same goes for anyone dwelling in the silence of the underground, in the shadow of an empty bag, the futile prison sentences of petty conversation, the fear trees that line the playground boundary, fleeting of break times, high tides, train rush, rendez vous and other countries, any ropes, any anchors, any reasons to be there, not to be there; this music will genuinely take you, free all the construct up, to its primitive pure beginnings… dance moves and beautiful disturbance, rolling to all Sundays. DISPERSE THE WHITE LIGHT. {drum roll cascades upwards once more, crazy} Instant recognition for this outstanding September output – pre-order while you still can. Acquire your soundtrack for no longer reading.

Happiest Lion

Straight-talking-wise, because I’m unsure as to what will come next, I am about to appreciate and recommend an artist, Happiest Lion, and his album, Mammoth Moon. I will do so with half a head full, just able to get the engine brain started up, power in the fingers – all the more so as I listen and type (maybe you could do the same as you read, it’s that kind of blog unless you know it personally).

Where were you listening to it most?

On a train

How did you download it?

For free (with no option to pay), on Bandcamp

When did he release it?

2010, Happiest Lion is a disbanded artist, it’s archived almost on the WWW.


The songs will identify all the barnacle covered plains that line your ribs and afraid vessels, the flex and muscles, it is the thickest most reliable emotional expressive roped-in folk, sturdy person-sounding array of different moods. Like a bright sunlike buoy, bobbing in the water, then swaying in the wake of the big scaring boats, but never drifting or straying from its cause, its strings, plucked rightly, without the slightest fear, despite all the subject’s still life and all the matter:

When I held your heart, girl I swear I saw it glow in the dark

And now, the Happiest Lion has disappeared to us all, a beautiful mark, so typified by the internet.

Porcelain, pretty in a still-life 
Glass ornament, O mine 
Sing to me, sweet, but you’re gonna leave singing 

He left his lyrics exposed like moles. Each one as beautiful as its constellation as a whole. Blinding rhythm, contagious choir of earthly angelic voice box, confused perfectly in the aforementioned strings, where we catch words and spill hearts, nod beats and shake hands. This warm steaming engine serenade that called me to evening training, where I turned up against a window, wearing nothing but blank cheeks and a billowing cigarette tear. The boys won’t understand tonight, bemused on awkward platforms, but the Happiest Lion can ride me away with a smile on the back of my head, as we nit the moon and flee the sun, little creatures of our imagination – beautiful 2014 discovery of past living music

Bear’s brood, why you test my beet stew? 
Why you steal my honeydew? 
Why you love your cubs true 
Love and long like I do? 
Why you make me flee the camp 
Brute, bold and honey-bellied 

Fair breeze, who kissed me kindly? 
Cload boats, sail idly, ivory 
Moss rock, totem towering, bring shelter when the gale rage 

Right on; I have never strung along lyrics to this extent before on this page, but I feel absolutely no fear, no shame in doing so for this man’s music, partly because instead of crudely alienating the words and the message from the music, these severed citations mimic the very true feel and sound of the songs. This man of Happiest Lion, Caleb, fulfils the greatest law of song-writing by seamlessly fusing written word with song, without awkwardness. He fulfils it more than most.

I must leave it there beautiful: it aches that this is 4 years old music and no word of this Moniker has appeared really, since. Food for a train of thought; now it’s a midnight feast, and we are allowed the happiest, contented at least.

Summer Dust

“When I made my hands work to devour the sun again”

Morning music for me is essay music for someone else, jogging music for me is chilled-out-evening music for someone else. This music is that music for someone else. This work by Surduda from Texas happens to be music for my mind when it’s reconfigured in the dust castles building slowly on the dashboard of a car I drive around English summer. A form of car music, basically. But if you listen, then the references to dust castles makes sense. This dusty twang voice with dusty twang guitar, suitable for dusty twanging hard moments in the front seat. In other words, I appreciate the artwork and the lyrics and the ring-running tone in which they’re sung, and several moments are spent in the car, concentrated, but glazed over; the lyrics and the objective of this song is quite a concentrated product, whose components, artwork and all, is very cohesive. Its actual form and method, however are glazed over, groaned in an absent-minded fashion, under the breathe, a warm weary air through dust fluttered windows, wound, down; revving lowly in the country lanes before its silence reigns again.
This song is the second on a two-song EP, Raise High the Moonbeam, the first song is also great, features drums and fits the bill for dusky eventualities and everyone just wanting to bop about with sandy hair; catching the last of summer thoughtless.

Evening headspace with Annie Eve

I mentioned Annie Eve cap-hasually as part of a post on ‘Expressive Lyrics’, about a week ago. Since then, I have been harvesting a whole field of potatoes (sorting out rotten ones from good ones) and slept soundly each night. Indeed, on that sporadic mentioning, it does seem that the only way to present you this Annie Eve to a further, more insightful extent, is to produce the vital contexts of my previous /time/ that she has configured meaningfully with music, whether that was headphones/ipod, other people’s speakers, or those loud speakers of my past bedroom that I have grown to loathe. I should also mention now that this is a pre-amble of appreciation to the album that she released this summer; I haven’t listened to the album in its entirety yet. I am excited about doing so when the time comes. In fact, my initiation to Eve was 8 months ago, via a live recorded session she did on Daytrotter. This session etched itself, moulded shapes, indented on the soft stuff of a head, mine, and there it still remains, played regularly, tired rarely, awake and awash, clean and collected: I have clutched onto 3 songs of hers and listened accordingly, finding myself increasingly ready to purchase and hear her whole big deal album (and prior EPs) to waste hard on the /time/ ahead.

You can’t listen to and download the Daytrotter songs unless you are a member, this is something we have been, it is true luxury, do it. So, below, I have salvaged adequate analogs, although not quite the Daytrotter versions I am used to, via streams, whose logic, institutions and pretexts you can find out very easily. Annie Eve has, before this debut album, released to my knowledge two EPs called Annie Eve EP (ft. Elvis and Bodyweight) and Feversome EP (ft. Shuffle).

So let me recollect a wax-work model for the three songs I know very well:


Empty pockets and a raw hollow gullet, a bedroom stripped of warm walls, a still dead tongue, and a violent crashing through the ears of brittle breathes, preceding each sweet soft succumbing howl. I scramble, my fingers, against the keyboard of my door, knowing no-one can truly hear this thing, this other girl in the cellar speakers. She’s all “I feel like if if i ain’t careful, then baby you won’t be careful” and I’m all stitched with skin threads, needles aching slowly out of my sides. Somehow it’s an overwhelming therapy, a counselling crash course perhaps, a crowd of empty chairs full of past boys and girls bearing their scarry insides. But something else notes: the strings, of a girl’s spinning-top voice and the guitar it just balances, they note longly, pulled significantly by the dropped-head rhythm, a gravity of blue ripe blood-pumps, spurning wise life & low warmth; it’s something less exposed, a moulded 4×4 cube with curved caring edges. Something to fit my empty room within, without stress.


A train of thought disappears quickly, a thicket, a forest, the rows of pylons, the botched garden-views, the thinness of a snake’s tailing off; the train hisses and chokes, way after you no longer see it. And so it is, Eve’s recorded haste, as she heads the sea, legging it to a hide of surged and rippling sheets. Lifting a finger to my ear, her song transforms my train into its vague humble forlorn living inverse, and leads me along to the ground I keep trying to take me feet off. Some rhythm that frees, a moment of lyric exposed for the beautiful murky water it is, sincerely too, seeping from the soil, through the tracks. Slowly, through the snare of upward pace, I sense a chunk of vital organ emerging in my windpipe; something I thought I’d lost a while ago on some forgotten platform. I listen again and it thumps me once more on the back.



This one, the only one of the three to be featured on the debut album, is terrifically difficult to relay. It’s a maze to reciprocate a fraction of it’s combined components (as similar in matter to the above-mentioned), simply because it is in my mind an utter whole, complete, a number 1, of which there is no reciprocal. I couldn’t even quote lyrics to muster the sweats it harks under my skin. The context? I was humbled from a feelingless canvas, somewhere in a city, onto true white space, a cosmography, a ‘special place’, in palms, over the goosebumps, far away, a city within and withheld. There, we got there!

And, so here ends another post, although this one more than most, trying to do justice to meaningful times and the musician who makes them so. Moreover, with this fresh post, I relinquish the stench of 156 rotten potatoes from the cellar of my speakers.

I leave you with a link, if you wish to remain on the internet, and not only that but to return to Facebook (well worth the like).

Annie Eve’s Facebook 

A review of Annie Eve

Thanks, George

Day On Day Off

Headphone music. Blissful headphone music.


Context is everything. These cut and polished basslines curve like thick trails of solid diamond and ruby peppered with perfect circles of marble and spray painted shellac blue and when put into music like this need to be listened through a magnifying glass. They need to be listened to over and over. The drums switching between a live-but-looped quality and a more vacuum sealed thud/half-gasp are what really bring this piece of music to life for me, they bring the track in and out of focus from watching a drum kit in the far corner of a room to having your nose pressed up against it.

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