LYR the latest signing to Mercury KX, comprises of genre-splicing trio; musician Richard Walters, producer/multi-instrumentalist Patrick Pearson and poet Laureate Simon Armitage.
The band released debut single, ‘Never Good With Horses’ today, with their debut album ‘Call in the Crash Team’ to follow in the spring. LYR also announce their live debut at Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club 9th March and London’s Hoxton Hall on the 10th March.
‘Call in the Crash Team’ is an easy-to-love midpoint between poetic spoken passages, soaring vocal melodies, and instrumentation which gleams like a rough-cut jewel. It is set to convert any previous sceptics of spoken word, thanks to Armitage’s accessible and compelling lyrics — as well as Pearson’s seductive bricolage of musical styles and Walters’ evocative vocals. That philosophy of sonic exploration manifests in the album’s ambient post-rock passages, jazz flourishes, atonal experimentalism, as well as swoony strings and piano — and some more unusual instrument choices too, such as the kora (West African stringed instrument).
Lead single ‘Never Good With Horses’ is an indelible first taste of the album’s ambition, scale, and lyrical prowess. The song is a keenly felt description of disappointment in a relationship, with a narrator who is resigned to stomach a partner’s “sugar cube” lies. Minimal piano builds to soaring and wistful strings, with a sung refrain from Walters which recalls the heart-tugging power of Sigur Rós.
As with all ten tracks on the album, here Armitage writes from the point of view of a fictional character.
“The speaker is a woman describing her disenchantment with a partner who exhibits traditional male characteristics of insensitivity and a lack of empathy,” Armitage explains. “That phrase ‘Never Good With Horses’ just drifted into my head one day and the whole thing just fell out of the title, like a Venetian blind.”