Home // Music // Track-by-track: The Irrepressibles – ‘Nude: Viscera’
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Track-by-track: The Irrepressibles – ‘Nude: Viscera’

Last year The Irrepressibles released their second album, a self-described homo-iconic record. The album was well received as much for its musicality as for its political activism concerning gay rights. In a defiant move the band performed an open free concert in Gorky Park, Moscow, in front of a 5,000  strong crowd while videos from the Nude trilogy played in the back ground (despite protestations from the technical team). In another move of activism, the art pop orchestra asked for submissions from lovers internationally for a video called ‘Two Men In Love’, a compilation of of same-sex couples kissing.

To keep the message going, the group have expanded upon the themes of Nude, exploring different areas sonically through an EP trilogy. The first, Nude: Landscapes, traversed minimalist symphonic landscapes, with stripped back orchestration with just piano, guitar, violin and cello, all expanded with loop pedals for live shows. The second in the series is Nude: Viscera, which transports the aesthetic into darker territories. There is a sexual physicality to the EP, with influences of grunge, new wave and exotica. There is something that recalls the work of Arthur Russel, Jeff Buckley and PJ Harvey. The final in the series, Nude: Forbidden, will shift into electronic territory, with remixes from iamamiwhoami and Royksopp.

We have an exclusive premiere of part two of the Nude Trilogy, Nude: Viscera. We also got singer and composer, Jamie Irrepressible, to talk us through each track, exploring the themes and history behind each momentous moment.

‘Not Mine’:
“I wrote this in about 2001. It’s a cathartic and visceral exultation about that person who is no longer yours and the break down of the love. But at the same time with the lyric ‘you’ll never win this time’ it’s about how you are trying to overcome that hold and liberate yourself beyond the chains of that connection, their presence in your life, their power over you, the bad that they have done to your sense of self. The song is just voice and acoustic guitar played in a very Punk / Grunge influenced percussive style, with a linear line of cello that creates a sense of time and memory inspired by the string arrangements featured in Nick Drake’s work. It then releases with drums and piano and is augmented in release with violin and cello parts being layered up in live performance. I created the arrangement more recently in 2012.”

‘So’:
“I wrote this in about 1999. It was a song about that kind of warm fuzz and sexual lust about myself and another boy you have at the beginning of your life as a sexual young person. It moves slowly and describes the first kiss in a way that is innocent but also urgent and defining.

It’s a grunge rock track about homosexuality and could also be about two girls at the same time. I came back to it as it has this sense of something that I couldn’t describe now about the innocence of homosexuality, the honesty of lust.”

‘Raise My Soul’:
Again I wrote this in 2000. It ‘s a New Wave Punk track with electric guitar, drums, cello with octave pedal and violin about the watching, waiting, going out to clubs, and hoping that the boy will see you. Its about my insecurity as a younger man with the lyrics “help my find a reason for pride” and “giving of tears so slightly”, and this sense of trying to find affection is described.

That said the track is an upbeat dance of a song, as opposed to “So” which is more dominant. This is more passive. In the final verse there is that moment when he finds me “he wound his way through the tables took me by the tie”. The arrangement is a kind of New Wave / Grunge in the style of The Stranglers meets, a huge influence of mine, PJ Harvey. It drives to describe the need but also stabs around to describe the edginess of sexual frustration something that was consistent in punk.”

‘Now That My Lover Is Dead’:
“I wrote this in 2005 about the end of a relationship. It’s performed very simply with acoustic guitar, kick drum and backing vocals in a kind of 60s style. It’s influenced by the Zombies and the band Broadcast who were an incredible band, one of my favourites of all time. But this track sounds nothing like them. The track is dark and intensely close.”

Pale Sweet Healing’:
“This was written in 2001. It’s about healing each other of the sexual abuse you’ve experienced as younger people. The arrangement is with a full string quartet, drums, electric guitar and backing vocals. Its set in a kind of dark 80′s style with a heavy influence from David Lynch.

This is an alternative arrangement to the version on the original album, Nude, which the three EPs expand out from. This version has the electronic elements removed.”

‘Fucking Beautiful’:
This song is in the style of two of my favourite artists, Pavement and Lou Reed. It also has a big influence from The Stranglers. The song is about meeting up with people for casual sex.”

‘Changing Time’:
“This is the oldest song on the EP. I wrote this when I was just 19. It was actually on an early 4 cassette tape track recordings. A very talented performer friend of mine had recently asked if I could write a song for him, or I’d offered I can’t remember which, and so I thought this might suit him. But, when I started working on it, I got obsessed with it and thought it was a good fit for the EP. The song is about apathy – those people that do something with their lives rather than those that just watch and criticise. It was written at a time in my life when I was very depressed and almost mute so it was a kind of an affirmation.”

The Irrpressibles release all three Nude EPs, on 7th April. Pre-order them here

The Irrpressibles also play a string of UK live dates:
03rd April – The Cellar, Oxford, UK. Tickets
04th April – ARC Stockton Arts Centre, Stockton-on-Tees, UK. Tickets
05th April – The Tin Music & Arts, Coventry, UK. Tickets
06th April – The Fleece, Bristol, UK.Tickets
08th April – Whelan’s, Dublin, IE. Tickets
09th April – The Black Box, Belfast, IE. Tickets

- Alim Kheraj



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