CHARISMATIC MEGAFAUNA – Lucky 7
LUCKY 7 is the feature where we ask artists to name their 6 favourite songs by others, and a lucky 7th song of their own…
Today, it’s a three piece from London that are a cross between Vivienne Goldman and Rachel Parris on The Mash Report – kitchen sink electropunks with a touch of smiling assassin news anchors. They’re called Charismatic Megafauna and while they have splatterings of 70s Liquid Liquid, bits of 80s Laurie Anderson, 90s Bratmobile or Mambo Taxi and 00s Planningtorock, they are a concoction that’s totally 2018. They’ve got a debut album called “Semi Regular” coming on the 13th April and if that sounds like a bowel movement, there’s nothing shit about this, except maybe it’s shit hot.
In their own words, they’re (amongst other things) a bit like “Kate Bush before she loved Theresa May” and Susannah Worth, Georgia Twigg and Jenny Moore sing about “guys in spandex, the shitness of Theresa May (a recurring theme) and female ejaculation”. In short this is happening without your permission, in ways which may make you feel uncomfortable.
And like VS favs The Fall they love the three R’s – repetition, repetition, repetition. What’s not to love.
Here’s the album artwork:
And here’s some songs that make the band tick:
1. Comanechi – 24Hr Boyfriend
We first had the excellent (alcohol-fuelled and sleep-deprived) idea to start a band at Supernormal festival, partly in response to the lack of women making a noise on-stage that year. One exception was the brilliant Comanechi whose lead singer Akiko Matsuura put on a colourful, raucous and uninhibited show which felt like a klaxon call for vitality, difference and possibility.
2. Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl
In some ways this is a stupidly obvious choice for an all-female band guided by feminist principles, but it represents something important about how Charismatic Megafauna started out.
In 2014 we went to a screening of The Punk Singer, an amazing documentary about Kathleen Hanna directed by Sini Anderson. It sparked loads of feelings, conversations and memories for us and helped solidify our intentions for the band. We ended up organising a screening of it at Supernormal festival when we played there that summer which, alongside the gig, felt like an important step in our punk journey!
3. Trash Kit – Shyness
We had the honour of opening for Trash Kit at the Anti-University festival launch party last year and their energy is so infectious. Rachel Aggs from the band introduced this song: ‘this one’s about shyness’. It struck a chord in the way the best songs do – as if Trash Kit wrote it just for me, except ‘me’ was everyone in the room who knows what shyness feels like, and every ‘me’ fell in love with Rachel at that moment. As if they weren’t already in love with her! She’s amazing. They’re all amazing.
4. FKA Twigs – Two Weeks
We all saw FKA Twigs together at the Roundhouse in 2015 and it was incredible. This song, and the video, represent everything that is extraordinary about Twigs: her incredible vision, the complexity of her songs, the importance of dance to her practice, and the way she uses words as evocative rhythms. Best heard loud on headphones, we reckon.
5. Molejoy – Gazza
Molejoy are our friends. The formed a little while after we did and as individuals and as a band they are awesome and inspirational. They describe their approach as ‘joyous anger’ and the sense of humour in their music is a joy to behold – Gazza is a perfect example.
6. ESG – Erase You
ESG are queens of the efficiently groovy catch beat. WE LOVE THEM. Really bold and unapologetic drumming with punk attitude. This song is good – you can’t deny it. It tells a story. It threatens to flush a man down a toilet. They bark like dogs in the background. The elements are so economical and hilarious and you must move when you hear it. But it’s staking a claim in a conversation, taking control back, stating opinion, drawing boundaries (or erasing lines – ‘just like a drawing’). This is all I really hope for from a Charismatic Megafauna song too!
The Lucky 7th: Charismatic Megafauna – Sorry
Sorry is the lead track from our debut album Semi Regular, out 13 April 2018. The whole album came about through a collaboration with our friend Alexis Dirks, an artist who lives in Canada. We developed the idea for the video together and she made those amazing robes with the grid pattern that are in the video and on the album artwork. Sorry was inspired by stories about Donald Trump’s communications director Hope Hicks, who would apparently deliver difficult news to him because she had a nice way, an appeasing manner, and he liked the way she talked to him.
Pre-order “Semi-Regular” on the link below.
And there’s a live date you can catch them at too:
Wed 18th April – George Tavern – London (LP launch show)
THANKS TO CHARISMATIC MEGAFAUNA AND TO LUKE TWYMAN AND LIV WILLARS AT ONE BEAT PR