In the heart of the sonic abyss, where genres blend and boundaries blur, resides a musical entity that defies convention and embraces the avant-garde. Shaven Primates, a five-piece band hailing from Oxford, has been carving their niche since their inception in 2017. Their latest creation, “Birds Aren’t Real,” released on July 28th, stands as a testament to their evolution and artistic audacity.
Following their five-year-long project “Child Of Dirt,” “Birds Aren’t Real” marks a departure and a bold introspection into the turmoil that engulfs our contemporary world. The album delves into the concept of “alt thought,” a phrase that encapsulates the tangled web of madness woven through war, propaganda, lies, conspiracy, and the relentless tide of denial. This thematic core provides the backdrop for a sonic landscape that resonates with dystopian visions, creating rich mental imagery throughout the album.
Comprising five distinctive tracks, each embracing a unique facet of the dark-wave and post-punk spectrum, “Birds Aren’t Real” emerges as an auditory journey that defies traditional genre boundaries. From the introspective musings of “A Decision,” to the rebellious assertion of “Fade Away,” and the haunting orchestration of “Unmasked,” Shaven Primates traverse a musical territory that challenges conventions and invites listeners into uncharted territory.
One of the intriguing inspirations for “Fade Away” comes from the realm of Louis Theroux’s interviews with online personalities Nick Fuentes and Baked Alaska. This unlikely source sparks a commentary on the surge of digital-age fascism, infused with elements of late ’70s and early ’80s punk and post-punk aesthetics, blended seamlessly with contemporary synth techniques. The result is an emotionally charged composition that serves as a reflection on the modern age’s pressures.
Yet, the album isn’t confined to social and political commentary. It delves into the deeply personal as well. “Unmasked,” a track that takes center stage, narrates the experiences of both undiagnosed and diagnosed autistic children. The song weaves delicate verses, reminiscent of a classroom atmosphere, with elevating choruses that celebrate embracing one’s uniqueness in a world that often imposes conformity.
However, the heart of the album lies in the audacious assertion of “Birds Aren’t Real.” This thought-provoking anthem toys with alternative truths and conspiracy theories, all while adopting a unique blend of Spanish-infused verses and punk-inflected choruses. This musical juxtaposition mirrors the album’s overarching theme – a profound exploration of the human experience and the prevailing chaos of the modern era.
Shaven Primates’ “Birds Aren’t Real” isn’t just an album; it’s an exploration of the human psyche and a testament to the band’s audacious musicianship. With its release, the sonic landscape is bound to shift, and the boundaries of genre will once again blur in the wake of their artistry.