Berlin-based artist Albertine Sarges explores the concepts of growth, self-fulfilment, sexuality, gender and the importance of mental health on ‘The Sticky Fingers’. The record, named after her pet name for her closest friends and band mates, also celebrates the importance of companionship: ‘So much of this album is about the experience of togetherness vs. fighting alone. These moments of saying ‘yes!’ and letting yourself fall into the arms of a community.’
The 6 Music favourite ‘Free Today’ opens the album in spectacular style. As disco beats, a Tina Weymouth-esque bass line and pacy drums come together, Albertine declares ‘Feminist theory doesn’t start here, feminist theory might even be what gets you there before later shouting ‘You’re free today’ before recalling how much joy a good swim can bring: ‘You take off your bra, you let them hang’. ‘The Girls’, another recent single, followes with slightly yelped vocals rambling about meta data against a melodic and dreamy yet abstract soundscape. There are lyrics about wanting to be a hippy with a desire to ‘fly high with the Sticky Fingers’ before Albertine decides ‘I’d love to have a dog to take up smoking’… ‘Beat Again’ slows the pace right down with chiming guitar tones and battling messages in the lyrics: ‘Don’t be so scared’; ‘I lost my tendency to share. I’m fighting, surviving’.
‘Oh My Love’ is another song with a bass-led groove but this is mixed up with twinkly atmospherics and passionate vocals that could sit alongside Anna Calvi as Albertine plays out an entire conversation from her head. This is followed by ‘Stille’, an industrial yet electronica-tinged track sung entirely in Albertine’s native Deustch. ‘Fish’ has spoken-word lyrics – ‘Oh, how I would love to have lasagne’ – before the penultimate ‘Post Office’ takes the album into an alt-folk meets art pop direction that would sit happily alongside Caroline Polachek – it’s even got the heartbreak: ‘Oh, my lover doesn’t know me’; ‘I felt attractive when he showed some feeling’. The closing ‘Roller Coaster’ has more of a DIY garage rock sound before taking a turn into something far more psychedelic (indicated by the words ‘I’m on a roller coaster blasting through’). There’s then a cough and it goes back into something more distorted before one last – and wonderfully unexpected – thrilling blast of country melody!
‘The Sticky Fingers’ is a record you’ll want to get stuck into.