flirting. – ‘This Would Be Funny If It Were Happening to Anyone But Me’ EP review

flirting. this would be funny if it were happening to anyone but me EP review Noise is Therapy Hidden Bay Records

flirting. are an ‘anxiety pop’ band with so much to say about the world and how we all treat mental health. Their new EP ‘This Would Be Funny if it Were Happening to Anyone But Me’ is released on 5 October via Noise is Therapy (digital) and Hidden Bay Records (cassette).

The dark shoegaze of ‘Yum’ opens the EP with Arthur Davies Evitt’s spoken-word vocals about depression and how ‘You grew up underwater’ before Poppy Waring enters the fray discussing how ‘I’m drifting slowly and further and further apart’ and ‘I’m trying to work out what it means to be alive but it seems so hard’ before then repeating ‘bite my tongue’ and words about flesh being torn out. This is swiftly followed by recent single ‘Peppermint’; an expertly crafted Deerhoof-style pop song that falters around in style with huge guitar hooks and intense lyrics: ‘Sometimes it’s hiding in plain sight, you just got to search and find’.

‘Interlude’ does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s 78 seconds of psychological paranoia that finds the band’s poet friend Hattie Long talking about the power of the mind, paranoia and purples and oranges. ‘Lilac’ has a gentle synthy start but soon adds in glitchy moments and subtle drums and combines the honesty of Jeffrey Lewis’ ‘Anxiety Attack’ with the nature of Muncie Girls ‘Picture of Health’ (‘I know it’s late but why don’t you pick up the phone and tell me it’s all going to be fine, it’s all in my mind’) – all wrapped up in a psychedelic coating. The closing ‘In the Dark’ is an experimental piece that opens with electronica in the vein of Let’s Eat Grandma before Sugarcubes-esque jaunty guitars and irresistible hooks come in as Poppy sings: ‘Can’t believe you can’t see the way we are living’.

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