Passionately DIY lo-fi bedroom grunge from south-coast artist Cult Film with Bored to Death, fresh from his debut EP Mona.
Hazily self-reflective tracks are plucked from the consciousness of Chapman Lee, the artist styled as Cult Film, as he’s kept awake by the cacophony of his own thoughts. The Southampton based student dreams up crunchy guitar croonings inspired by American indie bands and 90s grunge; a stripped back Car Seat Headrest. Bored to Death is the opening track from his debut EP Mona, released on Devil Town Tapes. Boldly setting out a disparate vocal style punctuated by bleak yet relatable lyricism, the passionately DIY approach to songwriting is characterised by warm guitar melodies and distinctly lo-fi recordings.
It’s a soundtrack for that upcoming road trip now that the weather is warming and the days are getting lighter. Load the tape deck of the decades old hatchback and escape to someplace else.
Mona’s not just the debut EP from Cult Film, but also the debut release of Devil Town Tapes. An independent record label based in Bournemouth in the UK, focused on the resurging medium of the cassette tape. Started as a way of bringing people together around music at the fringes of popular culture, Devil Town Tapes seek to provide a space for the outsiders of the audio world – curators of the unheard voice. They take their cue from alternative music tastemakers and promoters such as TRNS and We Broke Free, combined with a desire to produce something lasting on a physical format you can hold.
Whilst vinyl continues to grow once again in popularity over the recent few years, it can be prohibitively expensive to produce in the low volumes released by true indie labels for relatively unknown artists. You only have to look at the posters of April’s record store day to see that the vinyl exclusives are almost exclusively by artists who already dominate radio and streaming playlists. No, it’s the cassette which truly represents the lesser heard musician. The demo tape has long been the chosen method for fledgling bands to get their music in front of labels, producers or clubs; far from audiophile turntables and HD streaming, there’s something reassuringly unfussy yet exciting about hearing new music on a physical tape.
Following the launch show at Bournemouth’s Sixty Million Postcards last Thursday, you can now purchase your own copy on a fantastically yellow 4″ x 2.5″ plastic rectangle via Cult Film/Devil Town Tapes’ bandcamp, or if you prefer to be thoroughly modern, you can listen right here on the internet.