Dancer 10 Songs I Hate About You

15th March 2024

Format Info

LP - Yellow Vinyl Signed
Monorail exclusive transparent blue LP with press pack

Written throughout 2023 and recorded over a weekend in August of that year, Dancer returned to Green Door studio and recorded this debut LP live to tape with Ronan Fay, as with their 2 proceeding EPs.

Looking to strike the perfect balance between these previous extended plays and something more, they attempt to truly define a Dancer sound in the long play format. The 10 songs in question push, pull and then elaborate on former characteristics – only now they are skewed into greater pop forms; caressed by jittery rhythms and searing guitar-isms that dive into passages of melodic wool and warmth. All using an energy that even the band themselves are surprised to muster.

Once again, this heaving audio mass is structured beneath the awesome vocals of Gemma Fleet, whose narrative and lyrical savvy paints a hundred colourful pictures in words. Examining and exhuming fragmented memories of the 90’s, the technological breakdown of our modern age and the simplicity of love in a time of madness, all with a trademark panache and a voice like no other.

At times, her singing segues into spoken passages and vice versa, an instrument of sloganeering profundity that pirouettes across the landscape of sound and the battery power bringing Dancer’s music into motion.

Even when Fleet approaches absurdity with the lyrics of something like ‘When I Was A Teenage Horse’, there is an analysis of realism hiding in the comedy, that touches and compels the listener.

Chris Taylor takes his distinctive guitar exploration to new and exciting zones of impressiveness on songs such as ‘Passionate Sunday’ and ‘Make A Decision’ and continues to utilize his now infamous keys-attached-to-guitar contraption, a key-tar-esque triumph in homemade music tech. Hear him veer between his 2 conjoined instruments in real time on the likes of ‘Change’ and know that it is even more impressive in person.

Gavin Murdoch plays drums with feeling, put that on a t-shirt!  But once you hear the drum part to major banger ‘Rein It In’ you will understand how the drums play more than just accompaniment in Dancer, this is democratic musicality at its finest.

The elastic bass attack from Andrew Doig does not really sit still or too steady, choosing wonky melody over anything too rigid and it is all testament to a love affair with the instrument and its infinite possibilities. Listen as it loops with medieval inclination throughout the strange ‘A Diagnosis’, a spaced-out jammer which culminates in a brief sobbing frenzy courtesy of Shake Chain’s Kate Mahony.

Ultimately ’10 Songs I Hate About You’ came about somewhat effortlessly, piecing together old and new songs and striving to evoke the influences of the group: Life Without Buildings, Elastica, Owls, The Cardigans and Altered Images (to name a few) into one swaggering debut dipped in a condiment of emotion and good humour.

The LP was Recorded and mixed by Ronan Fay, mastered by Alvaro Lisson with artwork by Scott Jason Smith and photography by Anthony Gerace.

Other Releases by Dancer

You might also like…