London-based queer DIY garage pop quintet Nun Habit released their debut album Hedge Fun this week, a pick ‘n’ mix bag of fuzzy punk, catchy Britpop hooks and glitter-strewn disco stompers that covers topics including “eczema, the perils of online dating, otters, and people on Twitter continually announcing the death of Prince Philip in the months and years leading up to his actual death.”
The quirky, humorous DIY indiepop line is a perilous tightrope indeed, with fiery pits of vacuousness and irritation glowering below, but Nun Habit traverse it with consumate ease, cartwheeling back and forth along it like a garage rock Cirque de Soleil. One of the key ingredients that makes the album work is the heart, warmth and sincerity with which it’s all done – they’re clearly having a ball, but we’re all invited to join them – and it doesn’t hurt that the album is chock-a-block with three minute punk-pop bangers either.
We caught up with dual vocalists Kate and Gregory for a tour of the LP, track by track.
- Slip n Slide
Gregory: This one was written almost as two completely different songs that we then mashed together, a moody, slinky thing that transforms into a disco banger.
Gregory: Basically just me complaining about people making fun of me for wearing rubber gloves to do the washing up.
3. Flock of Seagulls
Kate: One of Selina’s favourite sayings is ‘a broken clock is right twice a day’. Selina also used to really enjoy messaging us every time Twitter announced that Prince Phillip was dead. This song is the musical embodiment of those two things colliding in real life, written roughly 12 months before they did. Spooky.
4. Snow Day
Gregory: This is one of the oldest songs on the record, written more than 3 years ago. I can’t really remember if it’s about anything in particular beyond hoping that work gets snowed off.
5. Jeremy’s Horses
Gregory: A true story, and a song basically cobbled together from pieces we left lying around by our wonderful producer Ric James.
Kate: Sometimes we just like to jam to the drum loops on this old keytar we have. This is what came of it.
6. Righteous Jerk
Kate: that moment after a breakup (which can be months or years, but hopefully hours…) where you realise that the whole situation wasn’t healthy or right for you anyway and with hindsight you just wish you’d got in first to be the righteous, jerk-ish breaker-uperer instead of the brutalised and gutted breaker-uperee.
Kate: A shouty, fuzz filled romp detailing the perils of online dating from the bizarre randomness of dating profile information & chat to the universal lack of enthusiasm for meeting up for a drink in real life.
Gregory: Normally Kate & I write the lyrics for the songs we sing ourselves but this one’s all Kate and I’m so glad I get to sing it. It’s extremely fun.
8. Soap and Cigarettes
Kate: Charts the course from being caught in an existential funk to finding reason for hope and happiness in the friends around you. This song starts delicately with a minimalist, repetitive guitar motif overlaid with a single vocal and builds layer upon layer to it’s joyous noisy ending.
Gregory: It took quite a while for us to figure out how to record this one properly – Kate ended up having to send Ric extra piano parts & vocals from Australia – but we’re all so pleased how it’s turned out in the end.
Gregory: A straight up love song! About the person I love!
10. One More
Kate: A romantic ballad for that mate you love so much you never wanna leave the pub. You’d prefer to stay there with them. Forever. Sipping on a pint. Telling them how much you love them.
Introduction by Paul Maps
Photograph by Armadillo Media