August 25

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ALASKALASKA ‘TV Dinners’ – LISTEN

By RawKeith

August 25, 2022

ALASKALASKA

ALASKALASKA (pronounced “Alaska-laska”) share their new single “TV Dinners” ahead of their forthcoming album, Still Life, arriving October 14th on Marathon Artists (Lava La Rue, Courtney Barnett, Pond). Alongside previous singles “Still Life” and “Growing Up Pains (Unni's song) – which drew support from BBC 6 Music's Lauren Laverne, BBC Radio 1's Jack Saunders, BBC Introducing's Jess Iszatt and more – “TV Dinners” finds writers and producers Lucinda Duarte-Holman and Fraser Rieley embrace a more free-form electronica, giving a taste of what's to come with this tantalizing new record produced by Jas Shaw (of Simian Mobile Disco). Full of digital sounds, drum machine and synth melodies cunningly sat beside rich, organic, acoustic instrumentation, it's a looping tug of war between everyday simple pleasures and existential dread, with “TV Dinners” highlighting one of the album's central themes, that of the privileges associated with modern domestic existence. Other themes on the album dive into the beautifully mundane as well as the pressures that come with technology, social media and climate change.

Lucinda says of the track: "”TV Dinners” was the only song on the album written during lockdown (the rest were written previous to Covid). I wrote it in about 20 minutes as a stream of consciousness kind of poem. Very literal. Even though, like a lot of people, I wasn't really sure what to do with myself under the circumstances, I was still really quite happy to have some time doing nothing - noticing the way the light changed in my flat and the sound of the birds and trees outside. I felt a real sense of privilege that I was able to enjoy a space in time that for a lot of people was incredibly testing on so many levels. And with that privilege, a sense of guilt: "What once was bliss, becomes a certain kind of ignorance." We all take part in it in some way - you can change the channel if the news becomes too much, or steer away from doom-scrolling, and I think you should as a way of protecting yourself, but I also think it's important to recognize that its a privilege to be able to do so."

The last few years have seen the band–who rose up in parallel with both the South London jazz scene and the post-punk movement of Brixton Windmill before going on to open up for acts like Tame Impala, Nilüfer Yanya and Hot Chip – navigate new ways of working. While Still Life was never intended to be a “pandemic album”, it was ultimately realized and enhanced by this moment in time. Coincidentally, Duarte-Holman was already thinking about our habitual nature as a society and questioning what that means for us moving forward while doing the bulk of the writing, in its skeletal form at least, back in 2019. These themes were then exacerbated and further crystalized with the onset of the pandemic, a time that also meant ALASKALASKA were unable to get their regular supporting band in the same room, resulting in Duarte-Holman and Rieley embarking on a 24/7 endless stream of noise, soundscape, and consciousness that, like it or loathe it, only the 21st century 6G world can facilitate.

The limitations of that time allowed them to explore sounds they'd never quite had the freedom to play with, resulting in the band adventuring into more electronic soundscapes, creating a unique and infectious bed of indie-electronica in which their deeply reflective lyrics sit. Influences shine through both in a fluid exploration of genre and a tender, always-focused lyricism–it’s the methods of Björk, Fever Ray, LCD Soundsystem and Arthur Russell, and the contemporary melodies of Metronomy and Porches that excite them. 


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