EP Walkthrough: HANDSOME - BLAME

EP Walkthrough: HANDSOME - BLAME

The multidisciplinary artist takes us through the inspiration behind their new captivating EP track by track.

A couple months back we got the first taste of the big beats coming from Eora/ Sydney-based creative HANDSOME with the release of the single Youth Disaster (which you can read a bit more about here). Today that track sits within a collection of work titled BLAME, a 5-track EP accompanied by a short film that combines desert grit with hyper real adventure. 

Split into a trilogy of videos providing a unique visual experience, HANDSOME traveled to the middle of Australia to direct and shoot the short film, using the power of camaraderie and the inspirations of queer experiences around her to craft a modern Australian love story. Part one accompanied the release of the single Blame in April, serving as the EP opener and first installment of the trilogy. With lush textures, HANDSOME’s polished vocals soar through the track's narrative, as atmospheric synths, crisp beats, and sonic bass lines bring those tender moments to the dance floor. The euphoric soundscapes don’t just stop there, as the electro-pop EP showcases the multidisciplinary artist’s captivating instrumentation, vocal ability, sublime production, and tender songwriting. 

To celebrate the release of BLAME, HANDSOME takes us through the inspiration track by track. Be sure to hit play and take a read of the EP walkthrough below. 

Blame 

Exploring the cruel corners of shame and fear, I started writing BLAME after an experience at a dinner party. Imagine 15 queer musicians and artists sitting at a long table by the window, some dressed in drag, others occasionally singing. Next to them, a lonely single cis man eating his dinner alone, getting drunker with each deep glass of wine. He is equally disgusted and intrigued by the long table's presence, he scowls and yet he can’t look away, ‘might do well to cover up the pantyhoes you tried on’. 

Inspired by his dual fascination/revulsion, I wrote this song about the worthlessness of blame. To give and receive it is so hurtful and harmful, and yet we all have it in us, bubbling away. 

Taking the music from old cinema to club drop in less than 2 minutes was a rewarding experience. To me, it has a feeling of triumph and cheekiness, as well as a little sadness. Musically, it holds space and stops time.

I am extremely proud of this song. I loved writing it and I love listening to it still, it holds a very special place in my heart.

Royally

Royally is about sex. It’s about being intoxicated by someone, but worrying that you’ll fuck it up anyway, so you may as well try and forget them. Hiding from your thoughts that you can’t escape,  I think I have a deep fear that I will ruin every relationship I have. Not self-sabotage but self doubt disguised as egoism.

Through this song you watch me crack under the pressure of love, and by the bridge I give in ‘I’ve fallen for you hard, harder than I ever wanted’. 

Additional production by LJL (Kucka), Royally is loud and raucous in the chorus with shouts of jubilation and a hint of desperation. It is, however, just as vulnerable and revealing.


Back To My Vice

‘Back To My Vice’ was the first song that ever understood me before I did. Towards the end of 2019 I had a time in a throuple, which saw three partners constantly clawing for equal feelings being offered and received. Non-monogamy was something I had never experienced before, and this song explores the darker sides of love. Subconsciously, I wrote the lyrics to this song before I realised where I had landed through the circumstances.

This song carries a deep sadness and in many ways feels like a song of farewell to me. Questioning everything I thought was concrete, and watching everything slowly fall apart.

‘Back To My Vice’ explores behaviours on two sides of the spectrum, with feelings of being wanted, ‘Feel you trace for my heartbeat, watch your cunning, careless archery” and projections of dark insecurities, “No I don’t count your mistakes or your growing uncertainty”. 

Being turned upside down like this, I found it hard to figure out what was reality and what was a dreamlike state. Processing new language, hard boundaries and a whirlwind of flipped understandings, I wrote this song as a form of therapy. And it helped.

I hope other people find something special in this song.

Youth Disaster

‘Youth Disaster’ was first inspired by the downtown Harajuku Japanese fashion trend ‘Yami Kawaii’ (‘sick cute’) that sees younger generations express struggles with depression and mental illness in a grotesque and colourful way. Pastel t-shirts with sweet looking characters being hung, and earrings made of syringes. Young romance has all the excitement of the new, mixed with drinking and drug taking that feels fun at the time but can be used as a vice to hide your insecurities of rejection behind. Will I measure up? Will they like me for me?

‘Youth Disaster’ journeys through the mundane culture of social media, and the inner demons that keep our joys, and our spark at bay. We’re all monsters of perfection online at times.

The pressure for artists these days to be extremely vulnerable with their fans is a treacherous step for many of us, and mental health is now at the forefront of our industries. As it should be because that shit is rampant!



RECoNiSE

A final farewell, ‘RECoNiSE’ captures all of the pieces of a relationship that makes the DNA identical to any other relationship and completely unique all at the same time. When crucial time passes, you hope that a greater understanding can be reached between two people, when the wounds have healed and you can both recognise the beautiful things you shared. 

“Love is just a pheromone” but our love was also…

“a milestone,

An immeasurable timezone,

A coat with gold rhinestones,

A whole in the ozone,

A loudmouth with a megaphone,

A party of our own

A drop of methadone, 

A volatile, beautiful pheromone”

 Untitled design 2022 06 03T083207.046

HANDOME’s new EP BLAME is out now via Dot Dash Recordings / Remote Control Records.

Follow HANDSOME: Facebook / Instagram

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