The debut EP from Captain Handsome, the new project from Fightmilk’s Lily Rae, is released today via Reckless Yes Records. Titled I Am Not an Animal, it’s made up of five cuts of shimmering lo-fi melancholy and is available as a limited edition CD and digital download on their Bandcamp page, or you can pick up a copy in person when Captain Handsome play the Get In Her Ears Valentine’s special at The Lexington on 14th February alongside fellow Joyzine favourite Piney Gir.
Of the EP, Lily says “Theme-wise, there’s a ton of Dolly Parton (she’s like my mum/therapist/life coach), Halloween, David Lynch, and inspiration from my own really awkward experiences that I thought might be exorcised – the kind of stuff you lie awake thinking about for years afterwards curdling with embarrassment. I can’t help but write very personally. Everything on the EP is something that has happened.”
Never being ones to miss a tenuous thematic link here at Joyzine, we asked Lily to put together a playlist of her favourite animal-themed tunes.
1. The Rat, by The Walkmen
‘The Rat’ is my favourite song of all time when I’ve had four beers. Try and do ‘The Rat’ at the end of a band rehearsal when you’re all hyped up and mucking around in a room it costs £12 an hour just to stand in. You can’t do it. Nobody can drum ‘The Rat’. Nobody can guitar ‘The Rat’. Presumably the bass is hard too. Listening to ‘The Rat’ is like being hit by a freight train full of fists and printer cartridges. Play ‘The Rat’. Play The Fucking Rat.
2. Pony, by Ginuwine.
Probably the best song anyone has ever welded to. I was listening to a lyric video of this on youtube and the intro was described as ‘weird annoying burping sound.’ It’s not a good bang track but it wants you to think it is. I love ‘Pony’.
3. Hey There Little Insect, by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers
‘Hey There Little Insect’ is not a metaphor for anything. It’s just a lovely song about learning to be friends with insects when you you are a bit afraid of them. When Jonathan Richman is not making lovely songs about insects and dinosaurs or low-key being the nicest man in the world, he installs pizza ovens.
4. Little Red Monkey, by Joy Nichols, Dick Bentley and Jimmy Edwards
This is a very weird song I had on a tape of children’s tunes as a kid and it’s even more terrifying now. Three plummy adults are talking about this monkey, who over the course of the song becomes severely depressed – he has no family and lives in a zoo – and has to be cheered up with a euphonium. The backing music to the song sounds like the lead up to a murder and then the last chord is, presumably, this monkey’s final shred of sanity snapping. But possibly the most horrifying part of this song is the little red monkey trying to speak. A hard one to play live.
5. Buffalo Stance, by Neneh Cherry
Technically not about an actual buffalo in the same way that Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’ is not about an actual pony (at least, I really hope it isn’t). Still, ‘Buffalo Stance’ is one of three songs that makes me forget I can’t dance. It’s a solid favourite of people who play roller derby and was released on a THREE INCH CD because Neneh Cherry doesn’t give a fuck. The buffalo stance itself is apparently wrapping your arms around your body and looking to one side in a mood. It’s not standing by a watering hole grunting and flicking small birds off your horns.
6. Me and My Dog, by boygenius
It’s not a top ten if you don’t have some iteration of Phoebe Bridgers/Julien Baker/Lucy Dacus. This seems to be written from the viewpoint of someone who DOES have a dog so I can’t relate but I am envious. I like this song. It’s like the Powerpuff Girls signed to Dead Oceans and finally started going to therapy.
7. Monkey and Bear, by Joanna Newsom
‘Monkey and Bear’ is a three week long song about a monkey and a bear that hang out. I like it, it’s good.
8. Lionsong, by Bjork
Bjork’s iconic approach to writing a divorce album was to launch a WITHERING attack on her ex husband as an immature whiny man-baby via something that, weirdly, is quite a good bang track.
9. Alligator Blood, by Nicole Dollanganger
Nicole Dollanganger sings like how I imagine Annabelle the haunted doll sings. It’s intense gloomy stuff and I really like it. The lyrics are nuts and not bedtime reading. A definite animal song.
10. Kept by Bees, by Future of the Left
I’m pleased to have included bees in this playlist. Here’s a short song by one of my favourite bands, Future of the Left, about I don’t know what. It does feature the line ‘kept by bees in a jelly mould’ which is good. 10/10