Spector – Ex-directory EP

by Freq | 2018-03-08T21:58:00+00:000000000031201803 21:58


Spector - Ex-directory EPEx-directory, an embodiment of modernity and the way we, the youth of society, feel now. Spector’s new EP clearly shows off this generation of music’s inheritance and influences from its predecessors in pop, with their own modernity ingrained into every lyric.

Their sound resembles the new romantic British pop of the 1980s that my parents listened to when they were my age. With their synthesisers and powerful voice, Spector are creating a whole new era of pop that follows on in a logical continuation of not-entirely mainstream music. The sound comes straight from the 80s, but the lyrics belong very much to the millennial and Z generations that are taking over today. Fred McPherson’s words seem to emanate from the mind of every modern youth, exhibiting social anxieties, oddities and pressures that we suffer and face while trying to adapt to this society we have inherited.

“Untitled in D” follows a certain blurry structure, but the sentences come from all directions in a bit of a sea of slightly incoherent ideas that somehow make a very coherent whole, in a classically Spector fashion. They betray a certain European modernity, tied in with the simple confusion that comes from being a human being. I also find there is a certain undercurrent about the confusion of our public lives projected through the platforms of social media and the reality of our not-so-perfectly-tailored private lives. This song has rapidly become very important to me personally, reminding me of a very close friend of mine who we lost last year, and who was a great Spector fan. I see her reflected in this song in a way, and how much she would have adored it. “Untitled in D” is a particularly good representation of Spector — the whole EP is very true to my idea of them, but this song stands out: not perfect, but just exactly how I see them.

“Fine Not Fine” is classic Spector, touching on themes of politics, poetry, lost love and inner turmoil, addressed to an unidentifiable “you” that comes back repeatedly throughout their albums, and this undetermined person can be found in each of our lives. I find it resonates with a reflection of typical western society and the struggles and confusion that it entails. “Local International” reprises a running geographical theme noticeable in several of Spector’s songs such as “Born In The EU”, “West End” and “Untitled In D”. The recurring “you” is accompanied by a “we” that seems more personal to the band, with the lyrics implying a more geographical and cultural sense, possibly those travelling and changeable lives lead by these ever-touring rockstars. There’s a political side to this song too, represented through the description of collapsing markets that almost becomes an image of the mess that we’ve found ourselves in through societal error and stupidity.

“Wild Guess” seems to be addressed to those constantly demanding labels and definitions of each person, whereas those things cannot be given; because how do you define who an individual is? Again, this song translates the pain and hardship of building an image of ourselves for the public. “You ask me who I’m trying to impress / Well take a wild guess”. These questions that we ask of each other and who we are have no answers, until it seems to turn into irony; because the person who is asking the question is the answer to the question, in that they are who the singer is trying to impress, or that they are trying to impress anyone.

On the whole, I find that this EP represents our society fully, combining the major players of our world right now, the platforms we communicate on, the spaces we inhabit and our struggles to do so while staying sane; something that Spector seems to struggle with, going by their lyrics. Spector can reach into modernity and modern people in a remarkable way that I think will take them somewhere. Having met them briefly at a major turning point and painful part of my journey, on a day where my entire perspective shifted, to me they have become vital in being in the present, but still with a significant connection to the past, all while reaching into the future. They were simply kind, doing something so important, helping a group of people who had lost and suffered greatly find a way to have the possibility to heal.

Spector are on the edge of something, something that will explode and have an ever-growing, rippling effect. Their music here and on their two albums reflect modern society in a way that hasn’t quite been grasped yet. Sure, other artists have captured the inner struggles of modern generations as Spector has, but they have also tapped in to something more of a whole, going through the individual to reach society, especially a more European society, and the expectations that we don’t really want to meet.

Spector is one of those bands that have been engraved in who I am in a way, the way we all have those bands that resonate so much inside us that they leave a mark, an influence that makes us unable to ever forget them. These bands often come in our teenage years, but they stay a part of us so intimately that it’s hard to express correctly. Spector are truly special, giving us something in a way that is just right for our present. They are genuine, baring all through their music, and I think that many find themselves within this vulnerability. This makes them into the perfect band to have that place in young people’s lives, being young themselves; but also with their timelessness, which is how everyone feels at this point, connecting past, present and future and being almost an allegory of our present time.

-Frankie Harmonia-

Source URL: http://freq.org.uk/reviews/spector-ex-directory-ep/