- Home Counties
Exactly As It Seems: Milky Clear Vinyl LP
Release date: 3 May, 2024
Today, London six-piece Home Counties have announced details of their much anticipated debut album 'Exactly As It Seems', which is set for release on 3rd May 2024 via Submarine Cat Records. The news is accompanied by the release of expansive, shape-shifting new single "Wild Guess" and the announcement of a UK headline tour in May 2024.
Following the band's two acclaimed EPs 'Redevelopment' and 'In A Middle English Town', the new album arrives on the heels of two sold-out "secret" London shows and the album's vibrant first taste "Bethnal Green".
Home Counties have consistently retained an distinct element of unpredictability across their releases, and whilst new single "Wild Guess" opens with one of the band's most 'traditional' introductions, the song quickly escalates into familiar unbridled, joyous bedlam.
Produced and recorded by the band's guitarist Conor Kearney and mixed by Andy Savours (Black Country New Road, Rina Sawayama, Sorry), speaking more on "Wild Guess", the band's Will Harrison said:
"Wild Guess is the oldest song but latest addition to the new album. It voices a variety of concerns: day-to-day financial worries, fear of social isolation in old age, even a looming future of ecological collapse. It was written as part of an experimental side project which saw never the light of day - and in its original form was like a deranged version of the Wii Sports loading screen, hosting a detuned Ed Miliband speech in replace of the vocals. We revisited the song many times over the years but it never felt quite Home Counties. Over the last year however, as our sound was shifting we gave it one last go. It was an exercise in restraint, holding ourselves back to allow the song to breath. That said, we couldn’t resist retaining some of the original chaos of the original demo, sticking in a drum and bass inspired drop at the end. In that way, the song sets the new parameters of where Home Counties is at the moment..."
Prioritising the beauty in the ordinary and unanimously leaning into a fun, exploratory way of thinking, debut album 'Exactly As It Seems' presents a notable sonic shift for Home Counties, embracing a more dance-orientated sensibility and an ambitious inventive attention to detail, all with a focus on melody in its purest form.
With last year’s ‘In A Middle English Town’ EP propelling their live set into full-on hedonistic party territory, the addition of new vocalist Lois Kelly in late 2022 completed their transformation, with the band fully embracing the power of a good time. “We just love songs that are dance-y and we want our gigs to be fun. On our last tour we were finally at a stage where we had enough new material, on top of the last EP, where every song basically felt like a dance song: that’s the music we like to listen to and the shows we want to go to. I don’t really consider us a guitar outfit anymore. We want to be a more melodic band, with pop tunes and catchy songs," said Will.
On the Home Counties stereo when it came to finalising their debut album, a list of favourites as varied as they come were given air time: jungle (the genre, not the band), Talking Heads, Britney Spears, The Slits. At the centre of it all is nothing except simple quality. “We just appreciate something if it’s a banger rather than having to put a criteria on it,” says Conor.
Thematically, meanwhile, the band have been traversing the ups and downs of London life, documenting their findings as they barrel towards the second half of their twenties and all that that entails; laments on “renting and how rubbish landlords are and how unaffordable it is”, the feeling of getting older; turning 25 and not wanting to go clubbing and feeling guilty about that – always managing to balance the duality of lyrical frankness and musical buoyancy with gusto.
With an eye for the day-to-day, all-too-relatable details of crap modern living, coupled with an ear for hook-filled, grin-inducing melody, the pay-off is one riddled in joy rather than despair. Or, as Conor succinctly sums up the current ethos of the band: “My life is ruined cos I can’t afford rent, but I’m gonna dance about it.”
Having firmly established themselves as one of the UK's most vital alternative bands with their two acclaimed EPs 'Redevelopment' and 'In A Middle English Town' and double A-side single "Modern Yuppies" / "White Shirt Clean Shirt" - Home Counties have played host to notable sold out headline shows at venues including the 100 Club and The Lexington, as well as embarking on nationwide support tours with Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, FEET, Courting and bdrmm, adding to further appearances alongside shame, Sports Team, Pip Blom and more.
Home Counties have received radio support from Elton John (Apple 1) Jack Saunders, Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1), Steve Lamacq, Amy Lame, Tom Robinson, Radcliffe & Maconie (BBC 6 Music) along with key press tips from Loud & Quiet, NME, So Young Magazine, The Line Of Best Fit, DIY Magazine, Gigwise, The i, Dork Magazine, Clash Magazine and more.
Home Counties' debut album 'Exactly As It Seems' is due for release on 3rd May 2024 via Submarine Cat Records. New single "Wild Guess" is out now.
Home Counties are: Will Harrison (vocals/guitar/keys), Lois Kelly (vocals/keys), Conor Kearney (guitar/vocals), Dan Hearn (drums), Barn Peiser Pepin (synth/percussion/guitar/vocals) and Bill Griffin (bass/vocals).
2. Bethnal Green
3. Funk U Up
4. Dividing Lines
5. Push Comes To Shove
1. Wild Guess
2. You Break It, You Bought It
3. Cradle, Coffin
4. Exactly As It Seems
5. Posthumous Spreadsheets
- Vinyl LP
- Submarine Cat