If there's one good thing that's come from the immensely traumatic deadly pandemic sweeping the nation, it's that many a musician has used their time stuck at home on their own to channel their creativity into new and innovate projects. Now in the last few months of the year, we've got no end of EPs, mixtapes and covers albums to enjoy.
Norwegian punks Sløtface are contributing to the fun with a new collection of stripped-back songs, including one new 'un ('Doctor', originally written for their debut), and a cover of none other than Sophie Ellis-Bextor's classic pop hit, 'Murder On The Dancefloor'. Here, the band's Haley Shea talks us through each of the record's eight tracks.
Take Me Dancing
'Take Me Dancing' was one of the first songs we ever wrote together, when we were still in high school. I remember Tor and I working on this song and driving around listening to mix CDs in the car, talking about all the things we hoped this band could be, so it was a nice little throwback to get to work on it again, more as it was originally written. The song was originally written as a response to Big Stars' 'Thirteen', and since we first released it, we've made some lyric changes that we think suit a post Me Too world a bit better. It feels good to think we've learned some things along the way, and aren't afraid to make changes to make room for new things we've learned.
We wanted to take pitted from the crazy high energy original, to a more stripped-down version where the vocal melody especially really shines. When we wrote the vocals for this, we had a lot of great help from Marius Drogsås Hagen (Team Me, Insomniac Bears), and it was nice to strip back a lot of the action so that it's possible to focus more on the melodies. Tor and I sing the whole song together, which we did a lot on these versions of the songs, and it's great to showcase what lovely voices the boys have.
'Slumber' is one of the tracks we like the most from our first record 'Try Not To Freak Out', but we sometimes struggle to find a place for it in the live set, so going back to re-work some songs was a nice chance to get to play it again, as it's one of our favourites, and a song we're really proud of. I love the sweet and gentle melody and lyrics of this song, and it's been really fun to get to work on it and sing it again.
Sink Or Swim
I think the guitar melody Tor came up with for this one is just stunning. It really captures the song, and the lyrics in a different way from the original, and makes it even more melancholic, which suits my taste really well. Love a good set of songs to be sad to. The guitar reminds me of Daughter, or Susanne Sundfør or something equally cinematic and absorbing.
Laughing At Funerals
We've shown all our love for Bon Iver in this one I think, heh. Love the big drums and dramatic feel of this version. Makes me feel like we're in our own little movie whenever we play it.
Sløtface does elevator music in a really cool way! I think this version just turned out so quirky, and fun. Lana Del Rey was a big influence, and I love the way it's so different from the original track in vibe. I picture us in some kind of Alex Turner-esque Twin Peaks hotel whenever I hear this.
'Doctor' was originally a song from 'TNTFO' that got cut, and I think it's really found its form in this singer-songwriter version. Lots of Pheobe Bridgers influences in this one (can we be friends?). I love singing these lyrics every night, cause I'm quite proud of them, and the tongue-in-cheek-ness of them. We like to dedicate this one to all the people who have googled any symptom and been told they are pregnant, and all my peeps who are nauseous about 250 days of the year.
Murder On The Dancefloor
We were searching for a good cover song to put on this record - cause what's more fun than a cover? And Sophie Ellis-Bextor just felt right. It's such a banger, and if you think about it, quite a strange song, and we had so much fun making this soupy jazz lounge version of it. Børge Fjordheim, who produced the record along with Lasse, and plays drums on the tracks with drums, really made this one feel special. Thanks, Børge!