|Desp J Get Personal On New Single!|
|14th May 2021|
|Share: Artist Profile|
The Band: DESPERATE JOURNALIST
The Release: ‘PERSONALITY GIRLFRIEND'
The Format: DIGITAL SINGLE
The Release Date: MAY 14TH 2021
The Video: Watch Now On YouTube
Deliciously dark-edged indiegoth lovecats DESPERATE JOURNALIST continue their raucous return to the fray with a brand new single called 'Personality Girlfriend' on May 14th. The crescendonic quartet, still very much consisting of singer Jo Bevan, guitarist Rob Hardy, drummer Caz Hellbent and bassist Simon Drowner, deliver a speedy follow-up to the Good Friday release of 'Fault' and another nod towards the summertime release of their forthright fourth album, 'Maximum Sorrow!'.
If 'Fault' thundered in the mountains, all bruised of lyric and brutalist of groove, 'Personality Girlfriend' finds Desperate Journalist at their most jovial and musically joyful, relatively speaking. Leastways, it starts with a flutter of eyelash and a butter-wouldn't-melt verse before launching into - spoiler alert - a 'Promising Young Woman'-shaped chorus which is as venomous and is it vivacious and finds Jo sniping, "I'm not the girl you dream about / I'm never going to sort you out."
"'Personality Girlfriend' is about my frustration with the world putting women into boxes/on pedestals (delete as applicable, but they are the same thing)," Jo explains. "The stupid idea that we are either gorgeous airheads with no inner life, or Plain Janes "with a great personality", is exhaustingly pervasive in the way people talk about relationships, and both "categories" are negging, nasty excuses for not granting respect to the person in question.
"The song is also a riposte to the tired old cultural trope that in order to be worthwhile or interesting a woman has to be incredibly strong and some kind of paragon of virtue and/or intrigue, when men are rarely held to the same standard and in fact a complex, troubled male protagonist is standard fare (in life as well as art). I had essentially had enough and wanted to just lay my flaws on the table and go "look, I am sometimes a mess and I can be difficult and confusing and I do desperately want to be loved, I'm a real person with needs and desires and interests and I fucking dare you to discount me". It starts off sarcastic and then ends with a confession of insecurity, because I've never found it easy to navigate any argument without crying."
The singer previously described 'Fault's musical faultlines as being structually unusual for the band. Following the unpredictable theme, that vivacious rush of a chorus appears once and once only as 'Personality Girlfriend' gleefully swings from coquettishness to cattiness before settling on a gloweringly unbroken spoken word denouement. It's four minutes and seven seconds of sonic terrificness from a band who've built their career on nothing less than quiet excellence.
'Personality Girlfriend' is the second track to be plucked from Desperate Journalist’s forthcoming album, ‘Maximum Sorrow!’, recorded entirely in Crouch End in lockdown and released on July 2nd. So post-punk made it into the springtime pages of The Sunday Times? Oh, DO keep up - Desperate Journalist have been raging against the corporate machine for aeons with their melodramatic blend of traumatised guitars and artbroken vocals. In fact, ‘Massive Sorrow!’ will represent their fourth full album release in the six years since the ‘Desperate Journalist’ debut appeared in 2015, with sophomore effort ‘Grow Up’ storming out in 2017 and the search for ‘The Search For The Miraculous’ illuminating 2019.
Throw in a couple of five-track EPs (‘Good Luck’ and ‘You Get Used To It’) and their melody-shattering proficiency is apparent for all to see. Add in a litany of ten-out-of-ten media reviews and utterly devotional followings from desperate fanboys and fangirls from Birmingham to Berlin and Desperate Journalist’s incredibly credible status is more bulletproof than ever before.
In fact, what really is impressive this time around is that ‘Personality Girlfriend', like 'Fault', sounds so alive but as it was written and recorded in lockdown it has never actually been played live – now that really does take some creative skillings. Last seen in London Town packing out Rough Trade East and Highbury Garage in the spring of 2019, new post-punk-pandemic Desperate Journalist live plans have been laid, like this:
DECEMBER 18TH 2021 | SHEFFIELD, RECORD JUNKEE
JANUARY 15TH 2022 | BRISTOL, THEKLA
FEBRUARY 12TH 2022 | NOTTINGHAM, BODEGA
FEBRUARY 19TH 2022 | LONDON KINGS CROSS, LAFAYETTE