Desperate Journalist return with the brutal beauty of new single ‘Fault’.
London-based quartet Desperate Journalist (Jo Bevan, Simon Drowner, Rob Hardy and Caz Hellbent) have announced the release of their fourth album, ‘Maximum Sorrow!’ (out on 2 July via Fierce Panda Records), which was recorded entirely in Crouch End in lockdown.
Visceral new single ‘Fault’ is more rhythmic than we are used to from this band. There may be fewer guitar riffs but, in their place, there is a synth shimmer washing over the consistency of Drowner’s driving bassline and Hellbent’s pounding drums. Familiarity comes from the beauty and ferocity in Bevan’s vocal, complete with Bjork-style howls.
So, this is Desperate Journalist but not exactly as we know them, as Bevan explains:
“The lyrics for ‘Fault’ were initially written quite intuitively and informed by what sounded good mouthwise with the kind of melody I thought the song needed – quite sonorous, Jim Kerr-y vowels. As I edited it into something which actually made sense, it naturally turned into a memory-screed about a terrible flat I once lived in and how the place itself seemed to reflect all the misery going on in my life at the time. I quite like the idea of a song sounding so big and dark and kinetic but with lyrics set mostly in quite a small space where nothing really happens except for unexpressed turbulent emotion.
“Structurally it’s unusual for us in that it a) doesn’t have many guitars on it and b) has a shifting hook/chorus which doesn’t happen at the times you’d necessarily expect. It was more of a textural exercise to record too which was really enjoyable and interesting – there are two drumkits on the recording and also synth undercurrents to make it extra propulsive and intense.”
The idea of a foreboding and confined space is also reflected in the shadowy black and white video for the single (watch it below).
With one show already announced at Lafayette in London in February 2022, there must surely be more to come as ‘Fault’ sounds like a live favourite in the making. This is the perfect return for Desperate Journalist, made more impressive by being written and recorded during the lockdown. In fact, it’s faultless.