In addition to having one of the best names around, Charismatic Megafauna have been ripping up the London scene of late earning themselves the mixed blessings that come with being tagged as ‘rising stars’. Having heard their debut album, Semi-Regular is released on April 13th through Bandcamp, we can assure you that there is plenty of substance behind the hype & are absolutely ones to watch.
Ahead of the album’s release, we got them to pick the three records that mean the most to them as a band.
FKA Twigs – LP1
One of the best things about being in a band is the kind of focused friendship it brings about, and sharing the music we’re into is a part of that. We all became aware of FKA Twigs around 2014 when she was touring after releasing LP1 and we got tickets to see her at the Roundhouse in February 2015 – it was Susannah’s Christmas present to the band.
The complexity of the layers in every song and the variety of sounds make it endlessly fascinating music. Her use of words – or word-sounds – as rhythmic elements is also aligned with how we write songs. Her dedication to dance and performance is incredible and hugely inspiring for us: that show at the Roundhouse was astonishing in that way – the lights, the bodies, the attention to detail. And the collaborative relationships that she’s nurtured over many years is also an inspiration, in the same way that someone like Björk has done, drawing expertise and wisdom from many different creative fields and developing longstanding working relationships and friendships.
Planningtorock – All Love’s Legal
This record is so politically clear and honest – it’s just straightforward and fantastic like we wish more records would be. The lyrics are to the point, political and still poetic: ‘been burning up inside day to day, trying to find the words to explain my sexuality / it’s liquid, it’s living / a moving love defined by itself / there’s no rules / no conventions / this love can go wherever it wants.’ This is the world I crave!
We always talk about being in a band as a way of making a new world – really doing things we care about rather than just talking about it, and this Planningtorock album feels like part of that. I went to see them play at a gallery in Camden a few years ago and they were wearing leather joggers and a ‘Lesbian Carpenters Support the Midwives’ t-shirt. We went nuts. Their voice was mesmerising and fluid, the beats were sick, and all the women in the room rushed the stage with an urgency I felt in my bones.
Robyn – Body Talk
Robyn has said she makes ‘sad disco’, and that combination of pop and deep feeling is something that speaks to us. We make our songs so you can dance to them, and the solid rhythms and beats of music like this are one of the inspirations for that.
We Dance to the Beat. On the album, life experience is played out from all sides – from telling someone to call their girlfriend to dancing on your own. Robyn talks about what it is to be a woman in the world, a woman making music, someone who’s sick of being told what to do. She created Konichiwa Records to release music in the way that makes sense for her, and that resonates with how we make decisions about what projects we pursue. The fact she released an album in three parts, just to keep herself interested, is a lesson in maintaining the practice of music-making to keep you learning and growing.