Names : Backs Turned (single)20.05.2017 : Libertino Records
This is a debut release from Names, a Pembrokeshire duo comprising Ioan Hazell (vocals & piano) and Joey Robbins (drums). Beyond their geographical location Names are something of an enigma - but with this song they have arrived fully formed.
Immediately there is a grace and melancholy to Backs Turned that sparks memories of Radiohead at their most elegant. Built around a haunting piano melody and a slow paced, leaden drum, the song etches in ice the image of an emotional scar gained in a cold concrete place. The lyric has the same dense mood of isolation found in Joy Division - it starts in English, then leads out in Welsh, the shift adding a further slight edge of dislocation:
I want quiet, Just quiet,
Silence for a while.
The violence and street talk
Have left me outside.
Under streetlight surrender I am free
From what you've become,
From the back turns and strangers,
I can breathe.
But you're high so it's impossible
For you to feel another thing.
You insist that you get it
That it wasn't what it seemed.
But you're straight faced, distracted, So I know you're not listening.
Under streetlights I'm lying in the snow. Yeah you're straight faced and evil, Straight faced and evil, Evil.
Nes i byth ddweud fy mod i'n neud y peth gywir, y peth gywir.
Ond mae pawb yn dweud fy mod i'n neud y peth gywi, Mae mor anodd gwybod.
Backs Turned is a short, wintry soundscape with all the fluency, space and atmosphere of Mogwai's Les Revenants soundtrack. Which means it is very, very good indeed.
NAMES I Backs Turned