Posts Tagged ‘Modern English Decoration’

New song ‘Lord Luck’ taken from forthcoming E.P ‘Suggestive Listening’:

Ulrika Spacek have always been strong believers in a long play format when it comes to making records, but for this new release they decided it was time to explore the ‘extended play’ format. The Suggestive Listening EP will be released on April 21st as part of this year’s Record Store Day.

The band started working on the new record in January 2017, “in that empty space when you’re waiting for your last record to come out”. Recording began at KEN, their shared house – a former art gallery so named because of a cryptic inscription found above the front door. Not just a studio and home, KEN is essentially the band’s hub, a space in which the surrounding ephemera of videos, artwork and even band photos are all created. After this, work for the EP moved to France where the band explored recording live for the first time and here the band worked with now-full-time member, Syd Kemp.

In an act of self-awareness, Ulrika Spacek chose to make something that killed the ‘three-part interweaving guitar’ characteristic that partly defined Modern English Decoration. The intention was to deconstruct the standard three guitar, bass and drums line-up used on the first two albums, aiming to strip back the overall sound whilst simultaneously bringing certain elements to the foreground. Very few guitar effects pedals are present on the record, and a different computer was deliberately used in order to steer away from the plug-ins employed on previous albums.

Lyrically this release came out of a time of common late 20’s existentialism, a time of huge self doubt and questioning in many aspects of our lives”. In contrast to the generally veiled form of lyrical expression on the band’s first two records, Suggestive Listening displays an interest in ‘literalism’, “In a time where we were struggling to find clarity we wanted our music to express the opposite”. This is also reflected in the choice of artwork for the release, which not only bears the record’s lyrics, but also song lengths and the very definition of an E.P itself. Additionally, fans may note that there are two different coloured front covers, one pink, one blue, each limited to 500 copies.

This change in approach was foreshadowed around the release of Modern English Decoration, when they claimed that, “We won’t return to this sound again. Though as fanatical fans of music, we feel the beauty lies in how these different offshoots go on to inform our future records”. As such, Suggestive Listening, might be continued an evolution more than a wholesale shift in focus.

In preperation of its release, Oysterland, a night curated by Ulrika Spacek, will take place the night before at Doomed Gallery in London. The E.P will be played back-to-back in exhibit form, with the layers of instrumentation played on separate speakers. Audience members are invited to make their way around the gallery allowing a personal and unique listening experience. Speakers will be positioned inwards so that audience members can either walk through the musical layers of the E.P or position themselves in the middle of the room where all parts come together.

Released 21/04/18 via Tough Love Records as part of Record Store Day 2018. Available from all good record shops. Please note: there are two versions of the record sleeve, one blue, one pink, each limited to 500 copies.

‘Suggestive Listening’ will be played back-to-back in exhibit form the night before release at Doomed Gallery Dalston. Layers of instrumentation will be played on separate speakers. Audience members are invited to make their way around the gallery allowing a personal and unique listening experience



A1 No. 1 Hum
A2 Black Mould
B1 Freudian Slip
B2 Lord Luck
B3 Wave to Paulo, he’s not there

Also available digitally:

Upcoming Live Dates:
25th April – Corsica Studios, London,
10th May – Psych over 9000, Gent, BE
11th May – Eden, Charleroi, BE
12th May – Le Beau Festival, Paris, FR
19th May – Kulturclub Schon Schön, Mainz, DE
20th May – Volksbühne Berlin, DE (with Cavern of Anti-Matter)
12/14 Oct – Desert Daze Festival, CA

Ulrika spacek   modern english decoration

Ulrika Spacek released their second album, Modern English Decoration. Much like their debut album released in early 2016, the band chose to record, produce and mix the entirety of the record in their shared house – a former art gallery called ‘KEN’, so named because of a cryptic inscription found above the front door. The relatively short amount of time between their first and second albums is testament to the band’s self-contained creative environment and the productivity it encourages. There’s a tendency to label this degree of self-reliant creativity ‘DIY’ – and the band do certainly feel emboldened by that ethos – yet to consider Modern English Decoration solely in these terms is a disservice.

Their craft is considered and purposeful, the means of its production reflecting the band’s overall vision  “We enjoy listening to music through the album format and want our records to reflect that”, says Rhys Edwards (guitars, vocals, synthesiser). Ulrika Spacek formed in Berlin in one night, when 14-year-long friends Rhys Edwards and Rhys Williams conceptualised ‘Ulrika Spacek’ and came up with The Album Paranoia as their debut album title. Moving back to London with the intention to record it, they were joined by Joseph Stone (guitars, organ, synths, violin), Ben White (bass) and Callum Brown (drums, percussion), ossifying into the five-piece they are now.

The album was released soon after with little forewarning and was accompanied by a year long, near-monthly club night called Oysterland. Given the lyrics often favour abstraction and the vocals can be more impressionistic than declarative, the album title itself offers perhaps the most telling entry point to the record. With three guitarists in the band guitars were always going to be central to the music, but what is less expected is the dynamic interplay between the trio that suggests a three-headed version of the Verlaine-Lloyd axis at the heart of Television. What’s more, the absence of reverb is integral, in part attributable to the ambience of the studio, but also a conscious decision in order to add focus. And focus is the abiding term: this is an album designed to be just so – a 45 minute commitment, a surrender.

Taken from the album, Modern English Decoration

London-based Ulrika Spacek released their new record on June 2nd via the good people of Tough Love Records.  Ulrika Spacek’s sound is dominated by their three guitarists. On a song like the slowly chugging “Dead Museum,” the densely enmeshed riffs and drones of this Reading five piece recall the kind of blissful noise summoned up by The Band of Susans or mid period Sonic Youth.  But there’s also something of Deerhunter about the band’s gauzy but winsome vocal melodies.  The album’s highlight is probably “Victorian Acid,” with its tense central melody drowning in waves of overdriven distortion. The hilariously titled “Protestant Work Slump” closes the album in a brighter mood, with a distinct gleam of Big Star.


Much like their debut LP The Album Paranoia released in early 2016, the band chose to record, produce and mix the entirety of the record of Modern English Decoration in their shared house – a former art gallery called ‘KEN’. Modern English Decoration is, in part, a self-effacing play on an interior design cliché that references the meticulous creative processes the band adheres to: “Doing everything ourselves is not just necessary: it’s important to us, as it allows us to truly create our own world,” they said.

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Second track to be taken from Ulrika Spacek’s new album, “Modern English Decoration”, out June 2nd. Available on CD, LP (black vinyl), LP (mellow yellow & secret 7″ – indies only), LP (mellow yellow vinyl & secret 7″ & print – Tough Love Records site only) .

“Full of Men” is a giant slab of marble. As the track progresses there are moments when it seems that Ulrika Spacek are making delicate, intricate and precise etchings — and they are until they’re not. The track flutters in and out of this quite precision and their default unabashed yet operatic gashing and droning.


See Ulrika Spacek live
April 28th – Newcastle Upon Tyne – Hit The North Festival
29th – Portsmouth – Portsmouth Psych Fest
30th – Liverpool – Festevol
May 16th – Brussels, Belgium – Les Nuits Botanique at the Rotonde
June 2nd – Oxford – O2 Academy w/ Slowdive
6th – Nottingham – Rough Trade shop instore
8th – Bristol – Rise Music instore
14th – London – The Lexington

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Ulrika Spacek are a ludicrously hip prospect thankfully, there’s plenty of substance to go with the quintet’s unwavering stylishness. It was only last year the band released their debut album, The Album Paranoia, but wasting no time this week they’ve announced the follow-up, Modern English Decoration, as well as sharing the first single from it,”Mimi Pretend”.

Mimi Pretend is the albums opening track, and should be a good indication of the album to follow, as according to frontman Rhys Edwards the band, “started with Track One on the album and went from there”. Mimi Pretend builds around glimmering, focused guitar lines and a driving rhythm section, the whole thing pitched somewhere between Ultimate Painting and Television. Layered vocals seem to drift in and out of ear-shot, the lyrics largely unintelligible but delivered with an anxious energy that gives them an undeniable gravitas. The band may have recorded much of this record in their living room, but if Mimi Pretend is anything to go by, don’t expect a relaxed concept album on domestic bliss.

Taken from the new album, Modern English Decoration, out 2nd June 2017.