Brighton based sombre indie disco duo Prinzhorn Dance School return with third welcoming album
“When our first album came outwe were awkward, miserable, nervous, uncooperative and now look at us!” Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn recently said.
On their previous albums Prinzhorn Dance School had a claustrophobic and introverted sound. Sounding like a lo-fi introspective LCD Soundsystem they created stark soundscapes and lyrical maps that while being refreshing, were always at times hard work to get through. However on their album Home Economics a change has taken place. The most notable change is their recording process. Origianlly they recorded in “The Red Shed”. As the name suggests this was actually a shed that Prinz and Horn would enter, in total isolation from the world to write and record. On Home Economics they scrapped this idea as Prinz eloquently puts it “The idea of shutting ourselves up in the shed was that if you trap yourself inside those four walls, the confined space would contain the narrative. Cabin fever in the extreme – you turn into some kind of weird, fucked-up cult”, opting for recording in different flats and spaces in Brighton and Hove. This new found recording freedom has given not just Home Economics, but the band a slightly warmer and welcoming sound. While they’ve been cutting things back musically, yet again, to the barest minimum, their lyrical content has flourished to become a rich tapestry. Each line uttered is like a haiku to decipher and ingest.
Reign sounds like a reworking of New Order’s classic Blue Monday, from its distinctive bass and guitar hooks and rhythmic repetitive drums. Battlefield contains one of my favourite lyrics of the year “I said ‘Look at me Predator’. Look at me Predator. Our lives are entwined. Our lives are entwined”. Clean also gives up another slice of lyrical gold “Put your head out the door and smell the rain. Put your head out into the storm and start again”. The stand out track is the albums closer Let Me Go. There is a tenderness that is only hinted at on the previous tracks. The melancholic line “a love that won’t rewind and will not be deleted” sums it all up perfectly in ten words.
Home Economics shows a band that are constantly evolving and pushing themselves. Where this evolution will take them is anyone’s guess, but given the leap taken, don’t be surprised if they arrive at your door with their gear and a laptop asking to record in your lounge or under your stairs.