Track By Track: Yr Lovely Dead Moon – Don’t Look Now!
Yr Lovely Dead Moon has a unique way of making some of society’s more subtle, everyday horrors sound so good, they’re almost (although not quite) worth having around.
Gentrification, late-capitalism, societal panic, disinformation and patriarchy all inform the music of Rachel Margetts, who transfers this angst into short, sharp and often witty shocks of post-punk, IDM and jazz on her second album for Hot Concept, Don’t Look Now!.
Originally from the North-East of England and now based in Berlin, having been involved in DIY scenes across Europe, ‘Don’t Look Now!’ came to thematic fruition during recent, beguiling times in human history in which Margetts had the opportunity to observe the world at a slower pace ‘Don’t Look Now’ is an uncompromising and highly original album that doesn’t pull any punches, “avant-garde outsider pop music on a high-wire between tenderness and tension… Reminiscent of the explosive vocal energy of Anne Clark or the gender hypnotics of Jenny Hval.”
With so much to unpack, Margetts is the ideal contributor to Track By Track, revealing influences from Durham and dreams to cats on leads.
Colour: Orange, Yellow.
Season: Sun Dance is a winter song, it’s a wintery sun, sun peeping through bare trees.
Inspiration: I started writing Sun Dance a few weeks before Covid19 became an official pandemic. At the time, I was thinking a lot about the idea of the ‘apocalypse’ as a mainstream cultural obsession (in film, literature, music). Sylvia Federici has described the belief in an apocalypse as ‘a future in which everyone can participate’, she said this notion brought comfort to an oppressed proletariat. She was describing a particular medieval historical moment, but I saw parallels to the present day and our current global situation. (This medieval or ‘between time’ feeling was also the roots of my inspiration for the Marseille tarot inspired characters of the Sun Dance music video directed by Lauren Pringle and conceptualized by myself).
With all this in mind I wanted to ask; are we unconsciously wishing for an end because we see no solution to our crises? And furthermore, if the apocalypse really is happening (through political, social and climate crises) how the hell should we engage with it? The song likewise questions personal or ‘individualised’ blame and responsibility for crises and examines how apathy results from this process.
Oh we’re eating ourselves,
Cos we’re only human,
Even if you don’t want it (and no, I don’t want it),
I’m still dreaming…
Sun Dance features Guitar from Loke Risberg.
Setting: To be listened to outside in a city.
Amongst the sound of falling leaves…
Inspiration: Terror is a love song to the body, mortality and our ultimate materiality in a world of ideology. It questions; how to find beauty and alignment in a world of misinformation, conspiracy theories and desensitisation.
Musically here I was a little inspired by the weird IDM time signatures and acidic synths of Bogdan Raczynski.
Setting: Walking down a central European boulevard smoking with headphones in.
One (And The Same)
Colour: Earth or clay brown, coal black.
Season: Spring, but when it’s still cold and before the first blossom.
Inspiration: During the first lockdown I got stuck for a few weeks in my hometown Durham, England. This song was written during this time, the lyrics inspired by walks I took in Weardale, The North Pennines (the small mountains outside the town previously used for industry). I’d gone to see some old reservoirs, built by the Victorians originally to fuel the industrial revolution. Durham specifically is the birthplace of the steam train and the north of England in general the first industry and therefore modern capitalism.
The song travels in time and perspective; from the alienation of the modern worker, to those of the industrustrial revolution. It’s a bit cabaret, a bit Kate bush inspired and uses sung paraphrased quotes from Walter Benjamin.
Just like the adverts say,
We will find ourselves one day, in the reflections of the billboards,
In the muddy water at the side of the road
This track features piano from DJ and musician JAMUEL.
Setting: Weardale, (The North Pennines), England.
Colour: Red, postbox red, lipstick red!
Season: Summer, 4am on a summer’s night.
Inspiration: The Wrestler is the most personal of all tracks in the album. It’s the lightest track too, the most silly.
It started with a vivid dream. I think descriptions of personal dreams can often be a bit boring when described literally so I’m not going to describe it here. But to sum up its importance for me, it was a dream which helped me to process some uncomfortable parts of myself, parts of myself that hide behind a painted veneer, that ultimately seek destruction! I suppose I had to laugh at this… that laughter was a kind of acceptance, a spell of transformation.
Like the devil,
You’re my downfall,
And my grace
Vocals on The Wrestler were recorded by DJ and producer Palms Trax.
Setting: In your dreams.
Colour: Dark purple.
Inspiration: In many ways the track follows more in the tradition of the last album, switching narrative voices and perspectives, it’s ironic and kinda mad. I just remember thinking up the lyrics whilst cycling through the Tiergarten. I think it was mid-lockdown and I was doing some online Yoga course which I found both simultaneously relieving and claustrophobic.
It’s a song about the ironies of trying to find a middle ground between consumerism and spiritual truth. Inspirations were medieval alchemical formulas, self help meditations on YouTube, Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuzei on Facility and finally watching, in disbelief, someone take a cat on a lead around a park in Berlin.
This track features vocals from Odie Ji Ghast.
Setting: Walking through Canary Wharf on acid.
Colour: Pink, Transparent.
Inspiration: It’s a song about the double bind of individualism; how we’re supposed to understand ourselves as a part of history in a world where communal thought and action isn’t encouraged. Here, I tried to exploit a bit some more standard and cheesy pop tropes and the kind of abstract ‘yearning’ feeling you get in a lot of pop songs to make a more direct criticism of our political system.
I’m missing history,
Cos’ I’m waiting for the right time
Don’t Look Now! is out now on Hot Concept.