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London Post-Punks H.Grimace Slowly Seethe With 'Lipsyncer'

H.Grimace's new album,<em> Self Architect</em>, comes out April 7.
H.Grimace's new album,<em> Self Architect</em>, comes out April 7.

Debut albums aren't supposed to be this self-assured and sharp — but then again, H.Grimace did take its sweet time. The London-based, Anglo-Australian post-punk band formed in 2011 as a songwriting partnership between Hannah Gledhill (vocals/guitar) and Marcus Browne (guitar), along with Corin Johnson (bass) and Diago Gomes (drums). Self Architect — the culmination of a few promising EPs — explores identity and cultural power dynamics, led by Gledhill's gripping voice.

There are cavernous moments of Sonic Youth-ian noise in the band's dark post-punk, often played at a slow-raging speed, but "Lipsyncer" is the album's seething pop song, lurking like a smoky, sepia-toned dream out of the Pixies' Surfer Rosa. The contrapuntal guitar melodies snake around a languid rhythm section with fervid anticipation of its finale, when H.Grimace lays into the doomy end.

"'Lipsyncer' is about the pressures on young women or men to fit in or replicate something they aspired to be," Hannah Gledhill tells NPR. "I remember that feeling well, and how lip syncing to someone else's tune can be. It was in my voice but not my words or my description.

"It's also about how magazines or media can make women or men into almost spiritual identities and feeling the need to mimic or copy them. 'Lipsyncer' is the acknowledgment of this process and I guess coming into your own."

Self Architect comes out April 7 on Opposite Number.

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