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Dana Gavanski - Late Slap (Preorder 05/04/24)

Dana Gavanski - Late Slap (Preorder 05/04/24)

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Dana Gavanski - Late Slap

Label: Full Time Hobby - FTH516LP - 5060626467620
Format: LP, Album, Black
Country: UK
Released: 5th Apr 2024
Genre: Singer/Songwriter
Style: Singer/Songwriter

There’s a party in Dana Gavanski’s head and everyone’s invited- well, kind of. Late Slap, Gavanski’s third album, gives voice to the highs and lows of the mindscape in all its joys and terrors, injecting some much needed playfulness into the process of writing about emotionally hard things.

Gavanski fleshed out the demos with her band before taking the album—and the band—to Mike Lindsay (Tunng, LUMP) at MESS, the producer’s studio in Margate. The five-piece, which includes Gavanski’s fellow co-producer James Howard (Rozi Plain, Alabaster dePlume), tracked the record over five days.

‘Ears Were Growing,’ encapsulates the eighties zeal of Talking Heads or Klaus Nomi, pitching fantasy against reality through a playful lyric about negative self-talk, the domestic interior, and their way of creating a kind of Stockholm Syndrome equal parts comfort and fear. ‘Ribbon,’ is a tender song about the recent loss of a childhood friend, looks at the world through the lens of grief, marveling at the way the familiar suddenly loses its meaning and shape. The gently propulsive ‘Song for Rachel’ approaches the same subject matter from another angle, finding release in the simple, straight-to-the-point chorus refrain of “Cause’ you’re gone/ it’s just that I’m lost/ and I don’t know how to feel.” Not knowing how to feel, Gavanski shows us, is as valid and important a feeling as any other.

Late Slap’s unsettling artwork places the album themes in plain sight, Gavanski’s ambiguous, animated expression and screened-out black eyes bearing witness to what might be a revolving exhibition of contradictory images: cute play-fighting kittens giving way to pictures of suffering and war, golden hours dissolving into lost hours never to be reclaimed. But Late Slap is also what its title suggests - a sudden jolt, a shock to the system that seeks to reconnect with the messy flesh-and-thought humanity of simply being human. The album’s tension between cynicism and trust, openness and despair, melodrama and silliness, ultimately invites the listeners in (throw your coat on the bed over there, stranger). It welcomes you at the door, and beckons you to find tenderness in a world doing its best to desensitize us.

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