Kruger who was previously in the successful South African band Medicine Boy prior to relocating to Berlin, recorded this album with Liú Mottes, Andreas Miranda and Martin Perret. The latest album is the last of a trilogy that Kruger describes as “an intimate roadmap back into feeling”.
Album opener ‘Warm I’ starts with the lines “She makes me feel/So fucking warm/She takes me back/To the high school corridor/During a summer thunderstorm.” According to Kruger the song defines the teenage experience of love. The track starts with sparse instrumentation that rises and falls voluptuously, like the body of a lover.
“What I mean when I say ‘teen’ is some kind of giving into emotion that veers between keeping your feelings pent up because you are in such unfamiliar territory but then, at other times, giving in to an unstoppable outpouring of those feelings. On Teen Tapes I was trying to mimic that in the music, through a record that has the darkest sound of the whole trilogy but, because it is so explicit in the feelings being conveyed, is also an indicator of aliveness, of some kind of waking and permission to play.”Lucy Kruger
The next song, possibly the outstanding track on the album is ‘Risk’ it features Kruger’s whispery vocals set against an intense and brooding instrumental background that explores the vulnerability of giving in to love. The song builds in intensity and then suddenly without any warning ends – a bit like being jilted by a lover.
The video for the song was created by Cult Wife and is an animation of a lyric comic illustrated by Nena Maree.
‘Spinning’ starts with Kruger whispering something, perhaps a name. It’s a beautiful ballad in which she expresses her passion for a lover. With a gentle, melodic chorus it is an utterly blissful exposition of intense desire.
‘Play’ has Lucy’s trademark vocals drifting over some crunchy guitar work. The lyrics speak of love and letting go, the track is beguiling yet disconcerting at the same time. Throughout the album, Kruger and the Lost Boys make use of sonic empty space in a way that is a nod to the work of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
‘Amsterdam’ features some amazing drumming by Martin Perret, it’s a paean to the night with the lines “I don’t want the sun to split up the night/You are all of the light that I want to see” the intensity of the band on this song brings to mind the fact that ‘Lost Boys’ was a 1987 vampire horror movie. Kruger’s ‘Lost Boys’ are more like the gothic, Joel Schumacher variety rather than the jolly boys in Disney’s Peter Pan, a who fell out of their prams and were sent away to live in Neverland.
The poetic ‘Escape’ builds to an anthemic climax, the inscrutable lyrics and delivery are reminiscent of Aldous Harding. “Hold the wound under the water/Count to ten then breathe again/Lover once I was a daughter/Falling sweet/Towards something more than” Kruger sings while the Lost Boys take the song to a crackling crescendo.
If throughout the previous tracks on the album, Kruger has somehow been questioning and expressing fear about giving herself up to love, on the final track, ‘Unpack’ she surrenders. “See I don’t wanna hold back/Now your warmth is here within/My restless touch/There is nothing that I lack/When I’m here inside your room/It’s everything I choose/I’ve everything to lose/Fuck I’m so in love with you” she sings.
It’s gorgeous, it’s vulnerable. It’s Lucy Kruger at her best.
In these days of ultra-short attention spans and TikTok videos, this album might not appeal to all tastes. But, if you are looking for an LP in which an artist bravely and unflinchingly bares their soul, then look no further than Lucy Kruger’s ‘Teen Tapes’.
Teen Tapes (for performing your own stunts)
Autobiography of an Evening
Hold You Back
All songs written by Lucy Kruger
The Lost Boys are:
Lucy Kruger – vocals and guitar
Liú Mottes – guitar
Andreas Miranda – bass
Martin Perret – drums, percussion and electronic production
Lucy and the Lost Boys will be heading out on tour shortly. With the following dates announced:
L I V E
16 April – Shacklewell Arms, London
17 April – The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
18 April – Tower 2, Hull
19 April – The Crofters Rights, Bristol
Check out her Bandcamp page for other dates.