Private Life is a brand new collaborative effort between Christopher Royal King and Sam Chown from the experimental rock bands This Will Destroy You and Shmu respectively. The musician duo’s aim was to create a highly experimental blend of rock beats, futuristic synths and a heavy emphasis on an electronic sound, credited as a cyber-synth album the duo has effectively managed to implement all of these elements into their final project.
Releasing on August 17th this year, I expect the album will have mixed reception as something this unusual is typically hard to garner a lot of attention for, but on the other hand experimental rock acts have been seeing a lot of intrigue recently, see King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard for example. Also, the fact that this project is inspired and influenced by many acts, elements and styles ranging many decades, there’s a chance that this could turn out very accessible for a lot of people due to that.
The album sets off with the song Hesitation and it immediately gives us a pretty clear idea of what we’ll be hearing, there’s computerized beeping noises over a groovy bassline and drum beat. The vocals are not what I was expecting, they’re using a very dreamy filter and echo throughout the song. This is certainly bizarre and out there but it gives us a good first impression, it’s groovy and stimulating, kind of like ASMR if it were music.
The next song is called Bloody Blister and this one starts off far more taken aback, its slower and more relaxed as we have a soft drum beat, bass and a bouncy sounding synth. This time around the vocals have a watery synth effect over them which is definitely interesting, the song builds up gradually and pulls back occasionally like a wave, something that seems to be common for the album.
Thirdly, we have You Can Run Away From Your Problems and this has a fever-dream kind of vibe, the guitar and drums are rather quick paced but the electronic effects and synths are kind of slower, making for a song that is mildly cacophonous. There’s minimal vocals on this track and honestly pretty minimal vocals on the whole album which isn’t negative, they’re treating vocals just like another synth or instrument which is always cool.
We come to Paradise which appears to be trying to actually simulate a genuine paradise. It begins with the pleasant tweeting and chirping of birds and consists of nothing but pleasant beeping and happy sounds making up a dreamy scheme of happy days and wholesome memories. Pleasant is the only word to describe it.
Up next is the oddly named Dogspeed and it’s much faster than any of the other songs, sounding like something out of a video game or something out of the mind of a child hopped up on tons of sugar. It’s fast, there’s lots of synth pianos effects and squeaking machinery but with an overall bouncing, hyper feeling about it.
After speeding on past Dogspeed, we have Dirty Corner which is the shortest song on the album at only 2:01 and it’s literally just ominous, creepy sounds of an echoing hallway ripped straight from a horror movie. Pretty jarring coming off the back of Dogspeed.
The final track on the album Silent Partner begins and it’s less dreamy and happy, more like we’ve come out of the happy dream and awoken into something more surreal. The vocals have made a return here on the mostly instrumental album and they’re less synths and effects this time around and more genuine, the song still retains the album’s dreamy atmosphere with an overall reverberating effect put on the song. As the song progresses synths that sound like a traditional laserbeam synth start playing and build up towards the end of the song, getting slowly faster and more intense and as they ring out, the album ends on a far less “happy” note than it started with.
This album was absolutely interesting and while it’s not something that I would ever go out of my way to listen to, it was definitely a treat to listen to and dissect and as I mentioned earlier it’s like ASMR, very stimulating and easy to listen to.
Those who like experimental rock, dreamy electronic music or music with an overabundance of synth will love this.
You can pre-order the album HERE