WHILST, in other, less trippy lives, being a perfectly tessellated and readymade rhythm section for acts including Sinead O’Brien, Geowulf, Nick Waterhouse et al, bassist David Bardon and drummer Oscar Robertson have also began dreaming up a more hallucinatory life as Sunglasses for Jaws, under which disguise they’ve been quietly active on the London psych scene for four years or so.
With singer Olivier Huband making three the magic number, they’ve been busy recording an album over at Sean Ono Lennon’s gaff in upstate New York.
We took a look at the whimsical LSD wonkiness of “Take Me Home”, their earlier single, in January, noting its “organ-hip-swinging, vocally caressing groove, abounding with odd characters. Who will take who home, and what occurs?”
Ir’s the first time we encounter Frank, the through-the-looking-glass persona Olivier inhabits for the whole forthcoming album, which examines his struggles with the world as it is.
“What Does It Look Like?” invites us to scry in the mirror while Olivier-Frank feasts, and see our lives as they truly are and not as we construct them; and presents as a widescreen, declamatory neo P-funk of xylophone trills, choppy guitars and swelling soul brass.
Olivier says of the song: “We ask questions for the purpose of getting answers, and if your question remains unanswered, you’ll just keep asking the question. Over and over. And we, humans, love to ask questions as much as we like to find answers.
“‘What does it look like’ is a broad, vague, all-encompassing question that has a million different answers. Everything can be everything, anything can be anything. It’s a question that speeds into the highway eternally, picking up information and passengers and ideas and thoughts along the way.
“It’s everything that appears on your TV screen, on billboards, in your dreams, behind your eyes, the incessant overload of visual and psychological stimuli. It’s the Coke can and the wet soil, and everything in between.
“Don’t try and answer this particular question. Trust me. The pursuit is a hell of a lot more fulfilling than the destination.”
Guess we’re just gonna have to trust Olivier’s words to the wise and surrender to the Sunglasses For Jaws world.
Oscar and David outline their vision: “Sunglasses For Jaws is our vessel to experiment and make any kind of music we want to. This time we’ve given it a lot more intention and thought, and we wanted to create an entire little world.
“Everyone has versions of themselves – exteriors, barriers, walls, personalities, facades, fronts and so on. They separate people and make them unique.
“But everyone is made of blood, bone and skin. And bone is the most breakable. The hardest. The weakest. The softest. The most beautiful, smoothest component of the body, holding the entire artifice together. And whatever experience you live or embody, it’s your bones that get the beast in motion.
“This record is about the different experiences lived. The various forms and iterations of a person – where they place themselves, who they exist with, how they behave, how they recover.
“Frank does all of these things throughout the record, taking on the personage of the narrator, the protagonist, the psyche and, to some extent, all three at the same time.
“He doesn’t fear jumping in at the deep end and allowing himself to really feel. He feels so much that he feels in in his bones.
“When we get wet, we get soaked to the bone. When we feel adrenaline, we feel it in our bones. And when we write music and lyrics and throw art and romance and human complexity into the world … we do it with our bones.
“Frank is a deluded paranoid schizophrenic, essentially. He believes that he’s in a film, but he’s not, just like everyone thinks that they’re in a film in their own head. Really though, it’s a man having a nervous breakdown.
“It’s an exploration of method acting and having an existential crisis in this role you’re playing. It’s a bit meta and in the rabbit hole!”