– PREVIEW NEW ALBUM VIA ANSWER MACHINE
– INVITE FANS TO LEAVE MESSAGES
– NEW ALBUM ‘MODERN ENGLISH DECORATION’
OUT JUNE 2ND ON TOUGH LOVE
With their new album Modern English Decoration set for release next Friday, June 2nd on Tough Love, Ulrika Spacek are previewing the record’s ten tracks via the answer machine at the South London shared house in which the band recorded, produced & mixed the entire record.
Not just a studio and home, KEN is essentially the band’s hub; a space in which the surrounding ephemera of videos, artwork and even band photos are all created. They now invite fans to preview the work ahead of release over the coming week, and to leave messages for the band.
They will be previewing different tracks every day on +44 (0) 20 8985 9299.
Ulrika Spacek are set to play a headline London show at The Lexington on June 14th as well as various other UK shows this June.
Ulrika Spacek formed in Berlin in one night, when 14-year-long friends Rhys Edwards and Rhys Williams conceptualised ‘Ulrika Spacek’ and came up with The Album Paranoia as their debut album title. Moving back to London with the intention to record it, they were joined by Joseph Stone (guitars, organ, synths, violin), Ben White (bass) and Callum Brown (drums, percussion), ossifying into the five-piece they are now. The album was released soon after with little forewarning and was accompanied by a year long, near-monthly club night called Oysterland that the band both curated and performed at. Less than 18 months later, the follow up arrives eerily fully formed, somewhat inevitably according to Edwards: “We started making this record as soon as we finished our first. Like our debut, we started with Track One on the album and went from there.”
Modern English Decoration is, in part, a self-effacing play on an interior design cliché that references the meticulous creative processes the band adheres to. There’s also a nod towards the environment in which it was created – a Victorian house turned art gallery turned home studio. “This record was made in various rooms in our house, predominantly in the living room. Every part of the album reflects this, from the title to the setting of the lyrics. Doing everything ourselves is not just necessary: it’s important to us, as it allows us to truly create our own world”. While there’s an element of domesticity to the album’s creation, the themes that drive the songs are anything but, reflecting an all-too-common sense of mid-twenties alienation and anxiety, alongside the comforts/burdens of self-awareness.
Unsurprisingly given the context of its creation, Modern English Decoration might be considered a companion piece of sorts to the band’s debut LP The Album Paranoia. But there are crucial differences. Most notably, this isn’t the work of the Ulrika Spacek conceptualised by Edwards and Williams in Berlin – Modern English Decoration is the band as five rather than two people, and it shows. Those who have witnessed the intensity of their live show will instantly recognise the merits in this. The bass and drums provide a versatile anchor, at once soft, then aggressive, while the vocals drift woozily in and out, like druggy hindsight or skewed premonition. With three guitarists in the band guitars were always going to be central to the music, but what is less expected is the dynamic interplay between the trio that suggests a three-headed version of the Verlaine-Lloyd axis at the heart of Television. What’s more, the absence of reverb is integral, in part attributable to the ambience of the studio, but also a conscious decision in order to add focus. And focus is the abiding term: this is an album designed to be just so – a 45 minute commitment, a surrender.
Having recently supporting Slowdive & Wire on UK dates, Ulrika Spacek will be playing the following shows:
June 2nd – 02 Academy, Oxford, UK w/Slowdive
June 6th – Rough Trade instore, Nottingham, UK
June 8th – Rise Music instore, Bristol, UK
June 14th – The Lexington, London UK
July 23rd – Zanne Festival, Nicolosi, Italy
August 3rd – Kantine am Berghain, Berlin w/ The Men
August 4th – OFF Festival, Katowice
August 20th – Doune the Rabbit Hole, Doune, UK
August 27th – This Must Be The Place, Leeds, UK
Sept 15th – Levitation, Angers, France
‘Modern English Decoration‘ tracklist:
1. Mimi Pretend
3. Dead Museum
5. Everything, all the time
6. Modern English Decoration
7. Full of Men
8. Saw A Habit Forming
9. Victorian Acid
10. Protestant Work Slump