(Photo: Emily Rose Teece)
LABEL / MANAGEMENT / BOOKING
On May 1st 2020, sweetbellechobaby announced their long-awaited debut album, "though we are many we are one body because we all share in one bread". Having spent two years cutting their teeth in the Leicester music scene and releasing a steady stream of increasingly experimental music (including the "Love's Bullet"/"clipped" single, their AmPop debut release), "though we are many..." finds them fully and finally casting off anything that anyone might previously have thought or understood about the project. The album captures narratives of late 2010s austerity, pitched somewhere between classic pop and harsh drone, bringing to mind artists as disparate as Fleetwood Mac, Godspeed and Kylie. That might sound like a deeply genre-agnostic project - and it definitely is! - but it never feels anything less than totally coherent. Alex Goodwin's voice, whether captured raw in full mic-overload presence or smeared and distorted across the mix, is the common thread that draws the listener deep into the heart of the record and back out again. This is music with a complete disregard for the icons of the canon or the accepted norms of genre, heavy with the baggage of life under neoliberal rule, showing total commitment to its political cause and hinting at futures that we've lost sight of. With this record, SBEB are speaking to the present moment, but more importantly, there's a sense that they'll be making the soundtrack to whatever comes next.
"though we are many..." was one of Popoptica's Best Albums of 2020.