Whether inspired by literature or overheard pub chats, the band’s social commentary reflects the noir parts of the psyche.
Words Ilgaz Hisirci | Photo: Balint Marjai
Through the movement that rebirthed post-punk, Brighton boys Egyptian Blue emerged and settled into its angular and frenzied world. Reminiscent of Gang of Four, Iceage, Preoccupations and the art-punk lyrical approach to songwriting of Wire or Joy Division, Egyptian Blue’s debut and sophomore EPs caught the attention of radio tastemakers and spurred a growing organic fanbase. When I first heard Egyptian Blue, I was struck by the breathless intensity of dual vocalists Andy Buss and Leith Ambrose.
As oversaturated as the post-punk landscape is becoming, Egyptian Blue remain on the fringes of its collapse. Salt, the first single from their eagerly anticipated debut album, is a sonic concoction of what Egyptian Blue do best – fast, spikey, razor sharp guitars and a prominent bass approach to song structure inspired by Brutalist philosophy and polemic lyricism mingle with the introduction of synthesizers during the last minute of the track which suggests a new direction of potent shoegaze expansiveness.
The track was produced by studio wizard Theo Verney, appropriately by the salty shores of Brighton Electric Studio and Eastbourne’s Echo Zoo Studios, and captures a ticking time bomb of suppressed anxieties about the world around us. There’s a stormy energy around Andy’s opening lines; “I’ve been chasing my own tail, laughing out of every single pour, don’t want to talk about it…”, explaining that, “the song came from a series of anxiety dreams containing monotonous behaviours that felt like walls closing in. That sense of chasing my own tail. Jumping into the dark pit of the pandemic only served to heighten this”.
The chorus then bursts of emotions that stem from the artificial smiles that penetrate the feverish world. Speaking more of the track, Andy explains, “I’d been reading this book called ‘On Solitude’ by Michel De Montaigne and we’d been discussing it on a slow ferry to Dublin. When I wrote ‘Salt’, seeing the world as a feverish dream, the book resonated with my sense that we can cover-up emotions and nervous energy with a veil of pretending to be ok”. Egyptian Blue’s intellectual commentary, inspired by literature or overheard conversations in pubs, often pertain to the noir parts of the psyche, remain honest and go against the illusion of ‘keep calm and carry on.’
Egyptian Blue’s debut album arrives in 2022 via Yala! Records.