intro by ben tipple
Just last year, Kamikaze Girls truly came into their own. “Sad”, a collection of five beautifully distorted and openly pained tracks, proved to be one of the most understatedly exceptional releases of the 2016. Its brilliance lay both in its execution,and in its promise, something that less than a year later, the duo have unquestionably delivered on.
Seafoam, their debut album, is driven by vocalist and guitarist Lucinda Livingstone’s tortured lyrics. The record swirls unrelentingly around issues of mental health. Unlike others, the themes aren’t hidden away under a sea of metaphor. When Livingstone unleashes her often-brutal self-loathing, it’s both beautiful and hard-hitting. “I know now that I wasn’t cut out for this,” she expels on the record’s lead single, “Berlin”. I beg to differ.
The music itself matches these emotions perfectly. Every note totally envelops you, pulling further into anguished introspection. As with their recent phenomenal live sets, it all builds steadily towards the cataclysmic “I Don’t Want To Be Sad Forever”, a genuine expulsion of negativity from deep inside Livingstone’s mind, and her heart.
Joined by Conor Dawson on drums, Kamikaze Girls deliver a sound much bigger than most duos. It’s deliberately dense, bringing together heavily distorted Riot Grrrl grunge with downtrodden pop sensibilities. More importantly, it doesn’t shy away from an often-difficult message.
Livingstone founded the Ladyfuzz zine in 2015, a celebration of music and art with a distinct feminist edge. It’s indicative of her inclusive DIY attitude, and of the passion running throughout Kamikaze Girl’s music. Together, they reimagine and modernise the powerful message of their 90s influences. The impact is equally as strong. It’s a difficult listen, but one that carries a genuine unpolished beauty.
“We don’t need more war, we need art,” Livingstone implores on “I Don’t Want To Be Sad Forever”. With Seafoam and everything that surrounds them, Kamikaze Girls have the latter covered with ease. This is simply brilliant.