Addictive Games (EP)

Addictive Games is the first in a trilogy of EPs planned for 2019, to feature tall tales, strange characters and dark satire to a punk jazz/art pop accompaniment.

The 5-song EP is bookended by a Kentucky murderess by the name of Bandsaw Suzie. The story of her betrayal, brutal act of double homicide and subsequent fate is told in driving opener The Ballad of Bandsaw Suzie, while Suzie herself gets the last word at the end of the record with the dark cabaret melancholy of Suzie’s Lament.

In between…

Game of Games:
Some time ago I went walking in the Yorkshire Dales and came to the top of Malham Cove, a high cliff formed by ancient ice movements. I stood on the edge of the precipice, taking in the landscape far below and the wind blowing around my ears. At that moment it occurred to me that I was standing in a mortally dangerous place with absolutely no fear of the height or deadly consequence were I to lose my footing. This lack of fear startled me far more than any actual peril, so I carefully made my way back away from the edge to safety.

I spoke about this experience to a friend who used to do base jumping. He nodded in recognition and said, “The urge to jump off is incredible, isn’t it?”

Game of Games is about the seduction of self destruction in all of its forms. Those that play the Game of Games tend not to do so through any conscious choice and the motivations and responses of the player cannot be safely guessed at or easily understood. But however you come to play, the only way to win is by choosing life.

Taking The Blame Again is a song of liberal anxiety, but as there are deliberate branches of interpretation written in to the lyrics I refuse to be drawn further on the precise message. Pathetic self-loathing, justified concern or sincere acknowledgment of past injustices? You decide.

The accapella My World was produced in 2018 as part of my vocal looping project Unangelic Voices and has received radio play on a number of stations, but has not until now been formally released except as a contribution to the Demerara Records compilation Vanishing Point Vol. 1. The observation that “Self destruction is an addictive game” inspired the title and overarching concept of Addictive Games.