By AJ Salisbury
‘Fuzzy Head Tapes I – Serotonin’, an atmospheric, three-track release is an honest and unreserved dive into numerous hard-to-discuss topics including depression, suicide and loss.
Luke, and bandmates Charlie Horne and Jack Gilbody, create these ‘self-help’ tapes, with a sound nestling somewhere between post-punk, grunge and shoegaze. Overall there will be five ‘Fuzzy Head’ releases, starting with very dark themes and moving through the spectrum of emotions.
The songs, and lyrics, contained in this EP are very much about promoting the message of ‘It’s okay not to be okay’. For example, second track ‘Serotonin’ features a line “a lot of people hide their dark thoughts away, it’s better when it’s said, than to lock it in your head’.” It aims to break some of the stigma surrounding mental health, a topic Luke Moss is open and frank about admitting his daily struggles with depression.
There may only be three tracks on offer here, but that does not take away from the powerful content and majestical musical talent on display. It’s some form of dark fever dream, backed with twee and jangly guitars and vocals, that can erupt into a furious and frenetic noise without a moment’s notice.
Opening track ‘What might have been’, features close friend and writing partner Dark Eyes (a.k.a. Milo Gore), starts with a sweeping soundscape, a floaty and relaxing piece, but throughout the track the anger builds, before a King Krule-esque breakdown which signals the final third exploding into a wall of sound.
Sandwiched in the middle of this EP is titular track, ‘Serotonin’, which for me is the stand out track on an excellent release. A wonderful shoegaze jaunt packed with all the lyrical power of the previous heavier offering. The melancholic chorus “I’ve got alot of things to say about myself, but happy isn’t one of them”, is a heartbreaking line, but the melody is something that’ll get stuck in your head after a couple of listens.
The final track, ‘Tonight is dark’, is about depression, suicide, loss and mourning, Luke told me it’s probably the darkest piece he’s ever written borrowing on many personal experiences. The closing sample is a perfect, yet truly devastating line, ‘‘it’s hard enough to say goodbye, when you know it’s the last time, but, what are you meant to say when you don’t know it isn’t, what are you meant to say to someone who needs help.”
Overall this EP is powerful and masterful, a great thematic musical dichotomy, the darkness of yin, balanced by the light of yang. A journey that, on a base musical level, is beautiful, but when you dig deeper you realise, lyrically, it’s a dark and lonely struggle. I’d highly recommend this EP, both for it’s musicianship and lyrical proficiency, and I’m eagerly awaiting the remainder of ‘The Fuzzy Head Tapes’.
If any of the subjects Luke Moss discusses in his music affect you please talk to someone, contact your GP or The Samaritans here: https://www.samaritans.org/. It’s okay, to not be okay.
You can check out the EP on Spotify here:
Or bandcamp here.
Catch Luke Moss, Baggs and Hops at his EP release show on the 4th Dec at FIVES, check the event here.