Berlin, Germany-based dark folk/chamber psych/alt-rock outfit, Lucy Kruger & The Lost Boys releases their new album, Teen Tapes (for performing your own stunts), via Unique Records. The third and final installment in the band’s Tapes Trilogy, Teen Tapes follows last year’s Transit Tapes (for women who move furniture) and the initial album, Sleeping Tapes for Some Girls.
Kruger plays guitar and provides vocals, while The Lost Boys include Martin Perret (drums, percussion, electronic production), Andreas Miranda (bass), and Liú Mottes (guitar). Speaking about her songwriting, Kruger says:
“I think that what I am able to offer as an artist is a detailed expression of my experience, for although the situation may feel unique to me, the feelings are universal. Giving them a sound and shape validates and creates space for those feelings, allowing listeners to feel seen and less alone, even at a distance. Even in the isolation of a bedroom. Especially in the isolation of a bedroom.”
The bedroom reference refers to the epiphany Kruger experienced in her Cape Town bedroom while contemplating what to do with her songs prior to moving to Berlin. Kruger explains:
“At that moment I understood that an album is not so much a representation of me as an artist as it is of a specific time – and that it exists to give others the sense of comfort I got from writing the songs on it.”
For Kruger, relocating is intuitive. While growing up, she lived in Johannesburg, where at age 16 she started writing songs as well as studying music and drama in Grahamstown. Sensing her creativity required room to explore, she moved to Cape Town, where she connected with her musical collaborator, André Leo.
Later, aware that she needed to push her music forward, she relocated to Berlin, which offers space, both physically and metaphysically, to probe.
One subject of exploration includes the significance of women in Kruger’s lyrics. She shares:
“There is more pressure on a woman to figure herself out in private and then step out with a formed identity. It’s suffocating. How are we supposed to discover who we are if we are not allowed to make a mess? To leak, spill, sweat, spit, shriek. Sometimes playing involves getting scratched or wounded. Laughing. Weeping. It also involves glorious thrill and the chance to surrender. I’m looking for that. Transit Tapes is a gentle and sometimes not so gentle reminder/push/pull to take off my winter coat and run naked like a wild thing towards the water.”
Going on, she adds, “I do not know how to write without making it personal, and for now I do not wish to.”
Encompassing 10-tracks, entry points on Teen Tapes include “Risk,” which opens on dark, edgy guitars riding a thumping kick-drum as Kruger’s low voice infuses the lyrics with portentous timbres.
“I came to find a friend / To interrupt the ending / I didn’t know it then / How skilfully I could pretend.”
The intro to “Play” thrums with low-slung dirty guitars, murky and grimy, while a gently throbbing rhythm imbues the tempo with ominous pulses. Dripping with whispery, spine-chilling tones, Kruger’s spectral voice gives the lyrics ghostly ambiances rife with barbed nuances.
Fueled by black dirge-like colors and a measured ominous rhythm, “Autobiography Of An Evening” rolls out on subterranean leitmotifs latent with suppressed, shadowy energy. “Escape” slowly builds on trembling, cavernous hues, topped by Kruger’s Siren-like sighing voice, oozing a frisson of desolation.
“I could help you escape / In case you didn’t want to stay / And my sensitive refrain / My pale remains / Made you scared to say.”
Shushed and dark, full of residual energy, Teen Tapes (for performing your own stunts) simmers and boils on the pressure of Lucy Kruger’s bewitching voice and her nonpareil songwriting.
Teen Tapes (for performing your own stunts) Track Listing:
1. Warm I
6. Autobiography Of An Evening
7. Hold You Back
Run Time: 37:15
Release Date: April 8, 2022
Record Label: Unique Records