Current Affairs - Off the Tongue LP
Current Affairs - -Off the Tongue LP (Tough Love/UK)
Imporant: A few corners were lightly dinged in shipping to me from the UK. Consider yourself warned.
To call Current Affairs a Glasgow band may initially seem misdirection. Though Joan Sweeney (ex-Rose McDowall’s Band, Aggi Doom, The Royal We) is a lifer, Sebastian Ymai (Comidillo Tapes, Pissy, Anxiety) came from Chile via York, recently relocating to Berlin in 2021, and new member Gemma Fleet (The Wharves, Order of the Toad, Dancer) alongside Andrew Milk (Shopping, Pink Pound) were persuaded to leave London for the ‘second city’ after touring through with previous bands. However, Glasgow is the heart and hub of the band’s music, musical life and the place where Off the Tongue was solidified and produced.
Their current line up formed in 2020, but the four have been circling each other for years, touring and playing with their previous bands within the close UK network of DIY music. Stalwarts of their respective scenes they finally began working together through the creation of the Spitehouse collective – a project designed to promote Queer and female-fronted music through events mainly held at Transmission Gallery and Glasgow Autonomous Space, putting on many local and international acts (Sneaks, Sacred Paws, Still House Plants and Comfort amongst others). When an opening for a new bassist arrived, Gemma was the obvious compliment, the slogan of Spitehouse being the language of Current Affairs – “Everyone’s welcome, but don’t get it twisted.”
Following on from 2019’s singles collection, Object & Subject, the wait for their debut full-length may belie the urgency of its sound. Songs that were written in pieces over a long time and distance, but fully formed in the instant of the recording room across just a few days by producer Ross McGowan at Chime Studio. Current Affairs’ song-writing process has always been collaborative. Songs are developed responsively, with each of the band’s members sending/bringing elements or hooks to each other, but practices being the place where the songs flesh out, structure and are fully realised. These new songs feel a little brighter than their previous offerings, yet still hold true to their propulsive and caterwauling sound. Still embryonic in the most exciting way that that can be. Current Affairs’ music straddles new-wave pop and gothic post-punk in the way that you should expect a Glasgow-Berlin band to do so: with grit and panache.
Written from within the world of crumbling services, broken bonds and wounded spirits, Off the Tongue rolls off an ecstatic rage, filled with hope for you, them and everyone else. It’s a rallying cry away from hopelessness, forgiving your fears and laying them to waste. Their album holds a place for you to be angry and to be focussed. In lieu of having anything else, we’ve always got each other, and an uncertain future is open game for us too.