FEATURING THE BRAND NEW TRACK ‘i thought i saw an astronaut’
“If Jose Gonzalez and Jamie T had a secret love child who had been locked in a South London attic with a Macbook, acoustic guitar and a copy of Garageband.” – Wonderland
“Taps into our modern dystopia, a deliriously British piece of post-pandemic pop.”– Clash
If the state of the world is grinding you down, why not post a THIS IS FINE meme, put some headphones on, and lose yourself within the escapism of props’ debut mixtape ‘songs’? Featuring the brand new track ‘i thought i saw an astronaut’, the mixtape shows that props’ recent tastemaker support from Tom Robinson at 6 Music, Clash and Wonderland is well founded.
The 10-track ‘songs’ collates all of props’ singles from the last 18 months into one package, stretching from the feverish bedroom pop / melodic punk infusion of fan favourite ‘easy’ to the manic dynamite extremes of last month’s single ‘before you let go’. Always favouring the off-kilter over the obvious, props’ multi-genre mash-up of beats, loops and live instrumentation is rich with creative flair, immediately accessible hooks and endearing DIY individuality. props’ lyrical themes provide talking points for fans wanting to explore his songs further, but on the surface his unique musical world feels like a safe haven from the madness that surrounds us.
Props says, “You know that cute smile/cry emoji? ‘songs’ is that in musical form. I’m a mostly quiet kinda guy writing overall happy tunes but behind the smile there’s a wee bit of sadness at the state of the world. I feel like I’m one of those musicians on the Titanic who kept playing as it sank into the abyss, except I haven’t reached that stage where the music turns sad yet.
I feel like it’s still very taboo as an artist to openly admit how screwed the world is, so ‘songs’ addresses big issues like the climate, politics, misogyny and inequality in the most subtle way possible. Thankfully musically it’s much more of a ‘well-we-might-as-well-go-out-with-a-bang’ vibe.”
That vibe is encapsulated by the mixtape’s closing track ‘i thought i saw an astronaut’. Initially sounding like an ultra lo-fi voicenote demo, it suddenly ascends into maximalist dayglo alt-pop energy. Spiky guitars, punchy keys and props’ conversational vocal delivery end the set on a high of unsourced optimism – just maybe there will be an unexpected escape that saves us from the gloom that enshrouds us.
‘songs’ has been a long-time coming, primarily because of a shift in props’ writing style. The key evolution, he admits, is from writing about relationships to the sinking realisation, “Holy moly, the world is ending so I’d better document this.” As a result, the joyous sound of his songs is now counteracted by an undercurrent of sadness. But it’s not about admitting defeat. props writes songs as both a personal release from the news around him and in the hope that he can inspire others to think differently about such issues.
In addition to its digital release, ‘songs’ is also available as a special homemade CD format at gigs or via Bandcamp. In a small step towards saving the planet, the CDs are packaged in cases repurposed from props’ own CD collection, often complete with their original scratches or price sticker. A case that might’ve contained, say, Red Hot Chili Peppers ‘One Hot Minute’ is now home to ‘songs’. Each disc is also paper-free, with liner notes available via the QR code on the case.
Props will play his debut show as guest to Cat Ryan at The Waiting Room, London, on December 3rd, where he promises to play “at least one Sugababes cover.” The line-up will be completed by Supersaurus and tickets are available HERE.