Ultimate Playlist: Blood Red Shoes
Blistering Brighton duo Blood Red Shoes release their fifth album ‘Get Tragic’ in 2019; a record that stands as their first studio album in some 5 years. Navigating through a minefield of accidents, heartbreak and something of a career curse that lined the rocky road towards this latest record, the plucky pair pulled-through to regroup for this record of re-energised form. Hooking up with esteemed producer (Yeah Yeah Yeahs / Arcade Fire / Nick Cave), the adventurous new album sees BRS incorporating greater electronics into their trademark sound while staying true to their ferocious rock roots.
If you’ll excuse the idiom, Blood Red Shoes have been through hell and back. Accidents, heartbreak, and a career curse have plagued the Brighton duo on the road to their new LP, the appropriately-, knowingly-titled ‘Get Tragic. “I don’t even know when this began,” laughs Laura-Mary Carter, nervously. “It feels like… a lifetime.”
Relentlessly gigging off the back of their 2014 self-produced and self-titled record, the heels finally fell off of Blood Red Shoes at the end of that same year. Drummer Steven Ansell interjects with his habitual bluntness: “We f*ckin’ hated each other, is what you’re politely trying to say.”A near-decade of incessant road time and a non-stop pace of life finally took its toll, they explain. “We got to the end of the fourth record and were like, ‘F*ck you, I never want to see you again’,” Steven adds, half-laughing, half-sighing.
“That’s the whole running theme of this record,” says Steven. “The reason we called it ‘Get Tragic’ is that we realised that everything we’ve been doing over the last three years is kinda tragic!” he says, prompting laughter from the pair. ‘Get Tragic’, then, fully embraces the absurdity of Blood Red Shoes’ situation. As a result, the pair came out the other side sounding fresher and more assured than ever.
Throughout it all, they went through a conveyor belt of managers and manager firings, the group falling out with everyone around them as they attempted to rebuild their core, two-way relationship. One of those managers “led us into a record deal that was really f*cked, and we shouldn’t have signed,” explains Steven. The subsequent fallout and legal trouble financially crippled them both. As that period came to a close, Laura went through a romantic breakup that still visibly affects her.
“We wanted to have the soul of a rock band, but change the style so it was more interesting, more groovy, and sexier – and less like everybody else! I started to feel like all rock music around us was one shade of colour.” Through disaster and dismay, Blood Red Shoes have emerged reinvigorated. Every incident has fed into a record of defiance and self-acceptance. Knowingly embracing the tragedy of their movements, and the clarity at the end of such woe – they even laugh at the very idea of having a picture of themselves on the cover – ‘Get Tragic’ is a total reimagining of the Blood Red Shoes you might think you know.
BIG THIEF – Real Love
I saw this band in San Francisco on our last tour in the states, it was a moving performance. In fact, every time I listen to this song along with some of the others I get very emotional because her lyrics really speak to me, this one especially.
GRIMES – We Appreciate Power
I didn’t know about this song until it got played in my friends’ clothes shop one night whilst being extremely intoxicated. I woke up the next day with a hangover and this song going through my head non-stop. I re-listened and realised, yes this is a banger and industrial is coming back.
ST. VINCENT – New York
I really like this song off St. Vincents latest album. It is a well-written song with cool lyrics. I like singing this in the car which is probably very annoying for the people around me.
IDLES – Samaritans
This band are the hot new band of the moment, this is my favourite track of theres! “A mask, a mask of masculinity… It’s a mask, a mask that’s wearing me” gets me every time. The ending is epic, I have yet to see them live but I hope to catch them on the road somewhere.
BRONCHO – Boys Got to Go
It is hard to pick one song on this record because it’s all so good! there are not many albums which can hold my attention span for the entire thing but this one does. I love how effortless they sound.
PARQUET COURTS – Tenderness
I was a bit late on this band but I really like their vibe and this song is really fun and makes me wanna dance.
BODEGA – How Did This Happen?
This song sounds like a mixture of LCD sound system and the B52s, I am really excited about this band and this song is infectious.
ARTIC MONKEYS – Four Out Of Five
I was not sure what to make of this new Arctic Monkeys album, I think it sounds more like an Alex Turner solo record, but this song has really grown on me, I like the melody and lyrics the video along with the song is visually cool too.
IAN CLEMENT – Hardly
Ian has been a friend of ours for a long time, we took his band Wallace Vanborn on tour a few times and there are so many good Bands from Belgium that we don’t get to hear of much over here. This is off Ian’s new solo record and is a brilliantly crafted song.
SHARON VAN ETTEN – Jupiter 4
I have always liked Sharon Van Etten but this new stuff she is coming out with is, even more, up my street. She made it with John Congleton who is a friend and a wonderful producer, every time I hear a record I like the production of it’s usually him. We made an ep with him and I hope to make an album one day!
This song gives me shivers.