Insides 'Soft Bonds' LP
“Insides’s music shimmers and tingles with the tantalising promise of a different direction that UK pop could’ve gone: future-facing and fresh, rather than nostalgic regurgitation.” Simon Reynolds, author and music critic, writing in Euphoria re-issue liner-notes in 2019
“A sound still as dew fresh, dawn dazzled and shot through with luscious darkness as it was nigh on three decades ago.” Neil Kulkarni, The Wire, 2019
Insides are Julian Tardo and Kirsty Yates. They first recorded together in the early 90s as Earwig, and released an album, 'Under My Skin I am Laughing', which brought them to the attention of 4AD. Earwig morphed into Insides and two further albums were released on 4AD’s Guernica imprint: ‘Euphoria' (1993) and 'Clear Skin' (1994). In 2019 ‘Euphoria' was reissued for US Record Store Day by Beacon Sound, and was hailed as a lost treasure by discerning outlets.
'Soft Bonds' is Insides’ first release for 20 years. It’s the sound of heart-stopping slow motion, blood rushes, fingers digging into bruised flesh, and sleeping with clenched fists.
“We found some things that were recorded a long time ago. We added some things that have been haunting us for years and recorded some other ideas that we’d just thought of. Recording started at home in 2012, and continued every now and then in our studio, on trains, in the Greek island of Naxos and while wandering around Cissbury Ring, Chanctonbury Ring and Devil’s Dyke in the South Downs. We finally walked away from the recordings in late 2019 and decided to release a small run of CDs and LPs on our own Further Distractions label.
'Soft Bonds' is about the past haunting the present, and gripping onto your crumbling sense of self. It’s informed by the spirit of This Heat/This Is Not This Heat, Patty Waters, Annette Peacock, Eartheater, Mhysa, Hailu Mergia, Scott Walker and Arca.”
The first track to be released, 'Ghost Music', was also the first to be finished and came about by scrapping the original structure, leaving only the trace elements. Working in the negative space that’s left behind, where rhythms are pulses and heartbeats and melodies are memories, it’s insistent, staring, but not shouting. Almost absent, or heard from another room. The video uses footage of Kirsty and Julian filmed and used in live shows in 1993 and cut with more recent footage from 2016. The past haunts the present.
“Pop loving the sound of itself to death. And hating the fact that it can’t stop loving.” Rob Young, The Wire, 1993
“...they seemed to be creating an entirely new version of pop. Their hooks were unmistakable, in that they triggered movement like perpetual-motion clockwork. Their grooves were sparse and spectral and nagged at you like breakbeats but made your heart and hair-follicles dance more than your feet. Their music was amniotic, ebbing and alive with iridescent melodic detail and lyrics that turned the turmoils and trauma of love into the sweetest searing honesty you’d been privy to since you first heard the Supremes.” Neil Kulkarni, The Quietus, 2011
Label: Further Distractios