Deaths

by Sauna Youth

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1.
01:23
Percentages, to prove a point Cement the thing you want the most Arguing there is no point When you have the facts in your leather coat Percentages to swing the vote The percent here is so very close You’re alone but the facts say no, Where do you call your home? Percentages, all that's known Data extraction, erogenous zone Percentages or human contact I don't know how we’ll ever cope/grow Percentages, proving points Percentages, leather coat Percentages, erogenous zones Where do you call your home? 11 - 10 - 9 - 8 Percent of us - it’s too late 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 Percent of us - are never done
2.
02:21
Brown Fog, Grey Street, Green Grass - Unreal City Seething Creatures, Indistinct Mass - Unreal City Ambition to play the drums in a band - Unreal City Industry forgets itself and the plan - Unreal City Find enough to make demands Got a lot of love to give, And i desire no job in the Unreal City Living on your own is hell, Is it your fault? Unreal City A man waits, Outside his house Unreal City Desire for satisfaction, Instant feelings Unreal City Find enough to make demands
3.
03:11
Can’t see no sense in it A gaze that’s distant, awkward and absent “Tried to call you” but I was staring at the floor Distracted Can’t see the censorship, nod the head, making us live They tried to call, but we were staring at the wall We are where we’re wanted Look the other way and there's Nothing to say Fingers on the chest and we’re laughing Swipe up, a slap in the face Distracted Thought it once, thought it before, think it again Wanted more, like before, can we do it again, again Distracted Thought it once, thought it before, think it again Wanted more, like before, can we do it again, again
4.
01:56
Started something / Don’t know how to end All the work could vanish overnight / Just pure relief Coded everything / Learnt the tropes / Passed unnoticed Is there / a space / for it On the inside looking in / My job, you sing Fixed object meets flexible being Constant fear, anxiety / Bend and break / Not for me Not for me Is there / a space / for it Knew all along After all these years the end would come Never know the song It makes no sense And the words are wrong
5.
02:22
Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems I've got no Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems Problems You've got no Problems
6.
Old roses, they litter the ground Below me, waiting for some Shade and action, looking for creative factions No personal space No personal space No personal space No personal trace New clothing, all the boys move around and Wear down the floor Gloss over, got leave all the inconsistencies At the door
7.
01:39
Extracted from short story, "Due Process" written by Jen Calleja.
8.
02:24
Leisure Time, it's mine, it's mine Productive repose, sleep is a crime Wading through a black hole, Isolation I'm sold Leisure Time, it's true, it's true Something for me, irrespective of you
9.
Why don’t you circle a subject Shut dialogue down (So) it’s pointless to try Why even bother “It’s just what I think” Never taking sides Systems fall when Tripped from the inside Veiled critique (you’ve got yours) Failed critique (I’ve got mine) A snide remark To make you feel better No obligations Nothing to show Suck everything dry No matter how weak Whatever the chances The outlook is bleak Veiled critique (you’ve got yours) Failed critique (I’ve got mine)
10.
02:56
Laura at the back of the bus Nothing changed it got left as it was Stay sharp as either side subsides A freeze frame, trapped in time Laura, sits in the car, Holding it together As the other falls apart No questions, she stays right here, The film freezes, smoke clears Bent Wire / Short String / Unfixed / Strong Grip
11.
02:02
Extracted from short story, "Due Process" written by Jen Calleja.
12.
03:06
Your tongue and eyes have been cut out And you're being wheeled about Statement plays when the string is pulled Tell them not to be so mean Tell them I've been good to you Tell them none of it is true In the Golden Castle payment are cruel You tried to warm him, didn't you? Two things to inherit - shame and debt No regrets And I had to listen to you but I don't want to I don't want to And I had to listen to my father, who's been like a father to me And I had to listen to my mother, who's been like a father to me And I had to listen to my brother, who's been like a father to me And I had to listen to my uncle, who's been like a father to me And I had to listen to the judge, who's been like a father to me And I had to listen to the newspaper, who's been like a father to me And I had to listen to the policemen, who's been like a father to me And I had to listen to the shopkeeper, who's been like a father to me and I confess it's all true.

about

The final part in a trilogy of LPs that started with Dreamlands in 2012 (wide-eyed, naive beginnings introducing listeners to the world the records inhabit), followed by Distractions three years ago (what happens while you're heading towards a destination, the unknowns, the unexpected outcomes), the songs that comprise Deaths are collectively about the act of finishing, an ode to 'the ending'.

Creating this album was a working research project embodying what is sometimes the hardest part of musical endeavour: completing a record. Making a new album is always daunting, but when all band members also have full-time jobs and other commitments it can also seem logistically impossible. Then there is the nagging, unattainable perfectionism that can draw out a record for months or even years - an experience that didn't bear repeating. When is something finished? Is finishing necessary to move on?

The album was created and facilitated through a series of deadlines. The recording studio was booked before any songs had been written. Having a deadline in advance allowed for productive freedom through limitation and finite time: five months to write the album, that was it. This meant meeting every week to write no matter how many members could make it, filling in on each other's instruments (reminiscent of how side-project Monotony came about: writer's block in a Sauna Youth practice - removing yourself from your role in a band removes the old expectations) and using automatic writing processes.

The limited time didn't allow for much reflection and overworking. Placeholders became final tracks through committing to songs at early stages, keeping them immediate. The album is site and time specific - those months in an archway in Peckham, which live on through samples including amp interference from trains passing overhead. It's also very much of this specific point in history, influences, and band members' lives. This process created a tension through trusting decisions and not questioning what was produced.

The 12 tracks touch on political rhetoric, artistic legacy, action and passivity, work and leisure, and, of course, distraction, referencing many musical genres in the process while never leaving punk's orbit. Creative living becomes more gruelling and endless than the 9 to 5 on 'Leisure Time', how freelance living and having multiple jobs both result in no free time. Being in a band is leisure time, but can be a lot of work. Our lives should afford us with time, but we fill it with activity.

'No Personal Space' looks at the cyclical nature of music, referencing 'New Rose' - the first single by a British punk band - via a drumbeat and lyrics, exploring the enclosure of the genre; a blown out recording of practising constantly interrupts the band. 'Percentages' was written at a point of political and social upheaval and problematizes the use of numbers as a form of proof. Whole groups of people have been reduced to statistics for political reasons, and people use and manipulate statistics to prove any point they want. 'In Flux' is about whatever is opposite to creativity, what kills it dead, the communication of a song or a piece of art can kill it, even trying to see an idea through to its conclusion can be what kills it.

The pure pop number 'Laura', according to Jonah Falco who mixed the record, sounds like "The Desperate Bicycles went to graduate school in the fields of Salisbury while being yelled at by two sides of their conscience, oddly enough, telling them the exact same thing." 'Problems' - a former Monotony song - reduces the punk song to its essential elements, aiming to sound like being inside a brake factory and repeating 'Problems' until it has rendered the word completely meaningless. The album ends with a wild and playful rejection of patriarchy and a frustration with those who uphold it either willingly or through inaction in the form of the unhinged Theatre 83. It's like English music hall meets 'We're A Happy Family' by The Ramones.

Like the previous two albums, Deaths includes writing put to music. 'Swerve' and 'The Patio' are extracts from a short story written by band member Ecke about the murder of an artist whose estate is overseen by her ambitious sister, and is read by writer and frontperson of Marcel Wave, Maike Hale-Jones. Samples are as important as they ever were - this time including the aforementioned electrical interference, recordings of practice and YouTube videos of lawnmowers and cafe noise that people (including members of the band) listen to while working to distract their mind in order to focus.

An album once finished is frozen in time, solid and no longer resistent or adaptive to outside forces. Does the difficulty to find an end come from the genre, from punk's revisionist impulse, redoing the same thing over and over? Do we avoid an ending because playing in a band is a distraction from everyday life?

credits

released September 7, 2018

SAUNA YOUTH "DEATHS". Recorded at NO Studios, Southend with John Hannon 1st - 4th June 2017. Mixed by Jonah Falco in 2018. Mastered by Kris Lapke. Cover concept by Boon, photograph taken by Owen Richards on 22nd July 2017, critical aesthetics Lucy Anstey. Artwork by Boon & Mince. Live Photo by Jamie Morrison. Drawing by R.M. Phoenix. All songs written between 4th Jan - 31st May 2017 in the Peckham Arch by SY, except "Problems" by another band. Sauna Youth is Mince - Pines - Boon - Ecke doing all things at once Drums / Bass / Guitar / Voice & Noise. "The Patio" & "Swerve" read by Maike Hale-Jones.

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Sauna Youth London, UK

Lost in Idea

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