Uncle Kid’s new single ‘Lamplig’ is the second track taken the Indistinct EP, which was released in February of this year, but is now also included as the first track on the Lamplig EP which has three remixes of the track by Junkyard of Silenced Poets, Jordan Stanley and Kid Steele. ‘Lamplig’ is “a spoken word narrative about shopping in Ikea with existential crisis” and taps into the uneasy sense of being somewhere like Ikea and fearing that everyone is ‘winning at life’ when you can barely dress yourself: “I’m walking round Ikea and everyone seems pregnant, am I the only one who’s not carrying life or purpose?”.
Lamplig has, at its core, a picked guitar line that has been surrounded by swelling synth lines and a slow, processional boom and crunch drum beat. There is a winding pattern to the arrangement, like a mobius strip of guitar, electronics and drum programming which cradles Uncle Kid’s spoken word vocal. His voice sits in the mix, understated but not hidden, like it has found a melancholy clearing in the forest to rest in and the overall effect is like the rotational beauty of staring at the jellyfish tank in an aquarium.
The remixes work well with Junkyard of Silenced Poets time stretching the backing which elongates the vowels of the track, like Lloyd Grossman reading the news not George Alagiah. Jordan Stanley destroys and reconstitutes the vocals and strips everything back to a gaseous mix of synth swirls and skittering beats. Kid Steele drops an 808 beat underneath popping harmonics, and in so, doing places a spotlight on the lyrics which chimes with the often anxiety-inducing effect that a trip round Ikea can induce.
The black and white video features Uncle Kid wandering through a forest carrying an Ikea bag and constructing his purchase interspersed with shots of the narration that keep Uncle Kid’s eyes hidden under the peak of his baseball cap (apart from one line) and so we focus on the construction of the words. It was directed by Edinburgh-based visual artist Alan Brown.
Review by Paul F Cook