Posted: January 14, 2023 in MUSIC

“CACTI”, the follow-up to 2020’s self-titled debut, sees Billy Nomates reveal her vulnerabilities. Spanning heartache, self-sabotage and finding purpose, her unmasked lyricism is swiftly countered by a glowing treatment of synth-powered pop backed by a tight mix of motorik punk, folk and Americana. It’s at no point conflicting, but instead a tight-sounding dialogue of emotion. A natural sonic progression from her post-punk beginnings.

Recorded at her flat and Invada Studios, “CACTI” is a huge step up for the artist, who received widespread critical acclaim for her eponymous 2020 debut album, with heavy airplay across BBC Radio 6 Music and support from luminaries such as Iggy Pop, Florence Welsh and Steve Albini.

Though every bit as unrepentant as Billy Nomates’ debut, “CACTI” comes from a much more exposed place and sees Tor further develop her instinctive, inventive songwriting and production. Unafraid to wade into the traumas of the past two years and the eerie sense of apathy that lingers, alongside heartache and more political themes, the 12-track collection openly confronts uncomfortable truths, as Tor puts it, “70-80% of being bold is about being vulnerable as hell.”

Maries said: “Writing “CACTI” took just over a year. I wrote very intensely and then none at all. (This seems to be the way I work best). I picked up old drum machines, mapped out things in my kitchen with the same small micro keyboard I always use and then raided the cupboards and rooms at Invada Studios, to play and experiment with old synths, an upright piano, this weird organ thing. I hope everyone finds their own narrative in “CACTI”. I think it’s about surviving it all.”

‘CACTI’ features ‘blue bones’ and ‘balance is gone’ , both of which have been playlisted at BBC 6Music

released January 13th, 2023

songs and words written by tor maries

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