Hit Leamington duo Nizlopi have ditched the JCB for an experimental collection new material released on their independent FDM label this week.
Ex-Trinity students John Parker and Luke Concannon turned down interest from the major record companies in the wake of Christmas number two, The JCB Song, and returned to their studio at the bottom of the garden to make a rootsy acoustic EP closer to their live performances.
The Extraordinary Mini-Album (out September 4) is described as quite unlike debut Half These Songs are About You and features more of John's folk-hop beat-boxing. Some of the tracks include bowed bass lines and very few overdubs were used during the recording process, with the heart of the songs put down live.
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The EP includes the wistful longing for community of Glastonbury, the hip-hop-tinged Extraordinary, said to feature a Kanye West vibe, and Disarm - a song about the choices made in the wake of a spiralling career. The desire for experimentalism - a key reason John and Luke turned away from the majors - is also evident on Homage to Young Men, a collaboration with Hebridean poet and activist Alistair Mcintosh.
Nizlopi took time off touring following a hectic six months around Christmas promoting their debut, the seasonal smash and follow-up single Girls - a period which saw them win an enviable reputation for their work ethic and took them as far afield as Canada. But they are very much back on the road this month with a 12-date tour across the country in 16 days to showcase the new sound.
John said: "We have been burning to get the new songs out there and wanted to make a more mature record and capture the sound of us live. We also wanted to do something new for our fans who have shown us such support."
Far from forcing Nizlopi to water down their innovative approach, John told how the disappointment of Girls - not widely featured on radio playlists - had only encouraged their creativity.
He added: "Our style has changed. The JCB Song was recorded a long time ago, as was Half These Songs. We're not aiming to do the chart thing as we've done that now and we just want to write music and get it out. We're lucky to play to big audiences all over the world, and we'd love to maintain that. But I'm not sure we'll be pushing for another Christmas No 2 just yet."
Nizlopi on tour. September 3: Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth. 4: Concorde 2, Brighton. 5: Koko, London. 7: Academy 2, Bristol. 8: Zodiac, Oxford. 11: Academy 2, Manchester. 12: Wulfren, Wolverhampton. 13: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham. 15: Cockpit, Leeds. 16: ABC, Glasgow. 17: Academy 2, Newcastle. 19: The Point, Cardiff.