New Music: No Bra – Candy

I find it highly unlikely that I’ll hear another album like this in 2014. I was going to say ‘you’ instead of ‘I’ but what do I know about what’s going into your ears ?

You might remember Susanne Oberbeck from No Bra’s 2005 underground hit ‘munchhausen’. I don’t but then I wasn’t doing this job back then. Right now, she’s giving us 12 songs in a small vocal range of deadpan monologues delivered against a variety of unsettling backdrops. Minimalist or understated drums, off-kilter guitars occasionally challenging The Doors’ “L’America”, occasionally doomily veering off on jazzy tangents.

There’s a high degree of artiness and artfulness – she’s not just presentationally fucking with gender and sex (performing topless, with moustache). The fuckery extends to anyone listening; there are plenty of moments where it’s clear the joke is on us. She knows this is the kind of thing the hipsters and poseurs might latch onto. And they’re in her sights.

Which would all be well and good but this is too arch, too unnerving, too discordant, too uncertain for my taste. The beat poetry/jazz of “Super Subway Comedian” is at the top end of this for me – attention-grabbing beat poetry and jazzy sax and drums, but funny only works for so long. Then there’s the lead track, and what’s not to like about a song called “Magic Cocksucking Fairy” ? You have got to give it a try, even if you don’t take it with you. Out 24 February.

Plus, check out queercore legend Bruce LaBruce’s cover shot and the placement of the explicit content label.

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