Monday 12th March 2012

Crisp, minimalist pop has a new face, and it’s that of London’s Diagrams, a solo project of sorts helmed by Sam Genders. It’s named Diagrams for the defining sound of clean, sharp production and programming Genders has cooked up with producer Mark Brydon. “I feel like this music is less lo-fi than the music I’ve made in the past,” says Genders. “It’s quite precise and angular in places, so Diagrams felt perfect.”

From the brass and string-laden skip of Antelope to the Tom Waits-meets-funk trombone in Hill and the sweetly acoustic Icebreakers, this is a new, playfully eclectic side of Genders’s songwriting, but one that maintains the colourful and impressionistic lyrical imagery he’s famous for – Antelope talks of a girl with “Tiny ants under her skin, sending messages to her mind.” Elsewhere, the tender Woking is a timely tale of a banker who’s lost his job. “I imagined he’s spent the last ten years commuting to the city from Woking and gradually he’s lost touch with his inner fire and the girl he used to love,” says Genders. “I imagine him calling her up and they go and live on an island somewhere, but that’s not in the song so you can make up your own ending.”

Diagrams marks Streatham Hill-based Genders’s return to music. One of the founder members of the critically adored Tunng, he left the band in 2008 and has since focussed on production and writing. “I was in quite a dark place personally before and, to an extent, during Tunng and I needed to stop and take a break to work on myself a bit and find my self-confidence,” he says. “I cured myself by working in an inner city primary school for three years! I’ve come out of myself a lot and the music has come from that.”

Band Website


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