On their debut LP, ‘Agony’, melancholy synth-pop duo, Practical Lovers juxtapose warm, vintage synths and analogue drum machines set to a vocal of impossible sadness and thrilling emotion.
Their stark sonic landscape indulges the listener with unbridled feeling, creating a mirror which reveals the bleakest moments of modern life.
‘Agony’ is set to be released on limited edition cassette tape through I’m Not From London Records towards the end of 2015.
At its most basic ‘Agony’ is a collection of love songs. ‘No Reply’ deals with the frustration and anger of unrequited love, whereas songs like ‘Full of You’ (video filmed on their recent Japanese tour) and ‘Inside Job’ are love songs disguised as laments – they may seem like they are about sadness and depression but actually they are about how powerful a love can be to create these feelings once it’s gone.
The album explores the departure of romance in modern courting (‘Grave of Romance’) and the ridiculous concept of a ‘Textbook Romance’. There are definitely some personal demons being exorcised along the way.
Lead vocalist and songwriter Jack Wiles further explains, “’Agony’ is a culmination of the pent up frustrations of a heartbroken twenty-something year old romantic in the world of modern courting. For me it was an outlet for several years’ worth of heartache, disillusionment and loneliness, with a generous helping of melodrama thrown in for good measure. Originally intended as a solo project the songs really got fleshed or when Mark got involved, but still maintain a quality of the bedroom confinement that the album was written and recorded in. ‘Inside Job’ is perhaps the most emotionally raw of the songs on the album and is about the feeling I had of being in love with someone who is no longer around, and the mix of emotions that blur together as years go by.
‘Textbook Romance’ is perhaps the most hopeful track on the LP. It’s a cry for a romance which skips all the game playing and second guessing so often found in modern courting, and hopes to find something more straightforward and honest. The dry delivery on this song reflects how flat and unexciting a relationship like this might be if it was ever to materialise!”
Watch ‘Inside Job’:
Practical Lovers are Jack Wiles and Mark Connell.
“Unarguably the soundtrack for pulling oneself up by the britches, wiping away the dust and marching right back into that party where the One Who Got Away seems to be doing quite alright for herself, Agony is the thunder behind the eyes, the lightning within the hands. A deftly rhapsodic exploration of self-awareness as readily addictive as the unwarranted smile from that new stranger at just the right moment in time. Possible side-effects may include whimsicality and wistfulness all at once.”
– Richard Caldwell – 23zillion
“Practical Lovers continue to be worthy ambassadors of the new wave movement by expressing themselves through their compelling and rhythmic use of synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers. The lyrics are thought provoking, deep and sometimes dark. Agony is a strong, expressive and dynamic album from this great band.”
– Lee Thomas – WhiteCollarZoo