“EXTREMELY LOVELY DREAMY MELANCHOLIA” – THE GUARDIAN
Lost Map are delighted to announce the latest new signings to the Isle of Eigg-based micro record label: self-styled purveyors of “tropical pop for the Apocalypse” Insect Heroes. Their weirdly irresistible – or irresistibly weird, if you’d prefer – debut album 'Apocalypso' will be released on October 13. The album will be preceded by a postcard single of ‘King Fabulous’ on September 1. The track ‘Pop Music’ is available to download for free now from the Lost Map Facebook. Watch a lyric video for 'Pop Music' – filmed on the ferry between Arisaig and Eigg – here.
Emerging out of the same Glasgow party scene as Golden Teacher and Elara Caluna,Insect Heroes are a collection of classic British eccentrics and oddballs, based loosely around two nomadic doom mongers and mountaineering enthusiasts in the shape of Peak District born-and-raised, Scotland-based brothers George and Evan Thomas. In addition, the current line-up also includes fellow pilgrims Robin Ashton, Adam Campbell and Laurie Pitt, variously assigned to modular synthesiser, keytar, banjo, drums and percussion. It’s a surreal and psychedelic landscape they create, through which George’s helium-filled vocals and bittersweet lyricism drift like lost balloons, or clouds with silver linings. Expect huge pop hooks.
Apocalypso was recorded to 16 track analogue tape between May 2011 and November 2012 at Green Door Studio in Glasgow, with engineering from Emily Maclaren and Stuart Evans, and mastering by Sam Smith. Inspired by mountain climbs and long drives over the Pennines, transcendence on the dance floor, music as an opiate and searching for the kind of love that lasts, it’s a curious and kaleidoscopically trippy collection, and yet eminently accessible too, framing George’s idiosyncratically skewed view of the world in all its mundane glory and evidencing his exceptional fluency in pop as a truly universal language. Lead single ‘King Fabulous’ is an addictive shot of 60s garage-psyche propelled by an infectious cowbell beat, proving that driving with the top down and drinking in the VIP lounge isn’t the preserve of bling-dripping R&B stars but merely a state of mind. ‘Beautiful World’ sings to the death grip intensity of true romance amid the early-morning dregs of a party, with a chorus none more toxically euphoric than “I’m so happy, I could die”. The mesmerising ‘Wooden Heart’ represents George’s attempt to pen “a classic soul song”, and was hailed by The Guardian as “an extremely lovely slice of dreamy melancholia” when it was released under the group’s then working title of the Thomas Brothers as part of a Green Door Studio compilation in 2011.
According to George, ever a cheerful fella, the concept of Insect Heroes was born from “years of failure, both as a musician and human being”. There is a dark core to even the band’s most upbeat tunes. “I didn’t have much else to hope for, so I just tried quite obsessively to make music that sounded like the way I saw the world,” he continues. “To me it’s just straight pop, but then other people describe it as being weird. The world is pretty weird though. With Insect Heroes it’s just nice to have found some other people who have noticed.”
4. STROBE LIGHTS
5. KING FABULOUS
6. BEAUTIFUL WORLD
8. INSECT HEROES THEME
9. POP MUSIC
10. BANG BANG BANG
12. A MAN LIKE ME
13. THESE DAYS
14. WOODEN HEART
15. GOOD NIGHT