Spang Sisters meld nostalgic pastiche with modern subject matter on their silky self-titled debut
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  • Post published:01/06/2021
  • Post last modified:01/06/2021

The first single off the record, “Eddie Murphy”, is a swingingly smooth tome to a failing relationship that’s only brought together by the films of ’90s comedy. A sultry taste of their slant, the track demonstrates an interest in the banality of existence – with the music video depicting a surreal stop-motion courtship between a sausage and a fish finger, it’s the diminutive things in life that they like to highlight. Who else would also write a song of appreciation to the crossword Puzzlemaster, as in “Thank You, Will Shortz” – another recognition of the mundane thoughts that dot our lives with meaning?

Characters of fame and infamy inhabit the album, but none so dark as the true story of Joyce Vincent. Discovered in her North London flat in 2006 after laying dead for more than two years, Vincent’s story epitomises the idea of solitude amongst so many, and how easily one can fall through the cracks of society. Spang Sisters approach this poignant thought with unsurprising lightheartedness, aiming for the song to serve as “a small antidote and reminder of the universality of this ennui”. What they do achieve is a quietly shocking starkness in contrast between subject narrative, glossiness of their sound, and the levels between fiction and reality.

Further antithesis comes through in the tracklisting itself, with each fully-formed song bookended with 40-second interludes of mixed sound – “Mama Nushu’s Libations”, “Jamborini’s Descent” – forming the scene of intimate crowds, tuning instruments and sound checks. They build around each individual story the feeling of performance, contrasting the grounded, real, disorganised noises with the highly produced smoothness of the longer tracks. They cleverly elevate their musings of mundanity to levels of fictional TV-reality.

Their sound on the surface may seem familiar and nostalgic but their ideas are uniquely their own. Spang Sisters explore clashes of internal versus external meaning and appeal, fed through images of diverse characters and lifestyles. It’s an intriguing, confusing, and even unsettling thing that catches you completely off guard.

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