Lucinda John-Duarte's voice sounds deceptively sweet. As the singer and songwriter in London band ALASKALASKA, she fronts their brass-featuring, clattering weirdo-pop with a voice you could slather on hot, buttery toast. But she doesn't reserve that vocal for cutesy ditties (which, let's be clear, would be fine too) or exclusively for the sticky goo of love songs. Instead ALASKALASKA can also deliver everything from shards of insight about being young and confused, to trippy dreams where all your teeth fall out.
Lucinda references the latter on the band's new cut, "Moon." The first words she sings are “Awake awake / a tummyache,” to which we can only say: bars. An early press note on the song mentioned that it's about womanhood, and so we assumed "Moon" revolves around period pain. Well, we were close-ish. “‘Moon’ is an account of the monthly, cyclical ebbs and flows (pun intended) of my emotional and physical well being," Lucinda said in a statement put out on Thursday. "It is an insight into my neurosis. ‘Moon’ is about PMS.” For anyone whose mood, whose whole sense of fitting in their own skin, attaches closely to their menstrual cycle, this is now your anthem. Even if that doesn't apply to you, it's a total bop. The five-piece just shared their primary-colour explosion video for "Moon" video, directed by Elliott Arndt. It looks sort of like what gymnastics in school would've been like with more hula hoops, some bright pink paint slopping out of paint pots and absolutely no one executing the requested roly polys.
But, for all the pop fans out there, the main news is that ALASKALASKA are officially announcing their debut album The Dots (due out on 3 May via Marathon Artists). The band's bassist Fraser Rieley is the lead producer of sorts, but the rest of the band all took on production duties too, creating the album's rippling, wild-ass textures. For the real heads, The Dots was also engineered and co-produced by Tom Carmichael, who counts KEYAH/BLU's "Sweet", Kendrick's "FEAR" off DAMN and Chance the Rapper and Jame Blake's banger collab "Life Round Here" among his credits. All their combined work culminates in an album that feels like a living entity, albeit one that might have scraggly fur and gurgle softly at the end of the bed in a way that makes you giggle. ALASKALASKA's strength lies in how they couple playful arrangements with thoughtful lyrics, and concept visuals. You can lose yourself in how they make a guitar line swell in your headphones, or catch yourself snorting at one of Lucinda's left-field lines.
We've been excited to hear a full-length from the band since we premiered their grainy, street-shot video for 2017 single "Patience." Back then, Lucinda spoke to us from a service station about turning a giant watermelon into a metaphor for the burdens we carry on a daily basis. We know – sounds ridiculous, but ALASKALASKA make it make sense. There's so much exciting, clever guitar music coming out of the UK at the moment, and this band have set themselves up as another one to watch in that world. Album soon come, but in the meantime you can smash repeat on "Moon." Just don't let Lucinda's voice fool you.
Pre-order The Dots here, before its release on Friday 3 May.
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