Toronto art-punks Deliluh return with their second album of 2019. Beneath The Floors will be released 15th November on Tin Angel Records (Telephone Explosion Records in US/CA).
Their first single “Lickspittle (A Nut In The Paste)” features Patrick Flegal (Cindy Lee/Women). Frontman Kyle Knapp explains that “Lickspittle” “characterizes a naive outcast struggling to swing with an elitist crowd. The subject is a metaphor for the rampant trend of nouveau-bougie horse chocolate popping up all over Toronto: a ‘craft’ class of try-hards, pining for status.”
Recorded in the same veterans hall 5 months prior to it’s sibling record (Oath Of Intent), Beneath The Floors delves deeper into their dark imagination, stretching further into stylistic extremes. Spoken stories that thread through the ringing clamour of post-punk rippers (“Incantessa”, “Lickspittle: A Nut in the Paste”) are juxtaposed by the soft whisper of ballads (“Via 5A”, “Hangman’s Keep”) and sinister instrumental passages (“Falcon Scott Trail”, “Con Art Inc”). Rests between songs are seldom. Hard cuts and hiss are preserved from the econo-tracked tape sessions, injecting a spirit of conviction through each passing movement, leaving behind a sense of wonder in their wake.
The LP explores themes surrounding generational imbalance, self-affliction and inner-conflict in the face of mortality. A relay of changing protagonists are followed struggling through the underbellies of modern life, and their respective scenarios also range in the extremes. While “Master Keys” peers over the shoulder of a paranoid security guard, “Via 5A” stocks a young siren on a Toronto transit joyride, and the title track’s abandoned hotel haunts a vulnerable visitor to tears. Some songs poke fun at surface level insecurities: “Lickspittle” patronizes an unfit noble outsider, while “Cleat Walker” knocks an image conscious athlete over his shoe-shine fetish. Conversely, the impending doom in their instrumental soundtrack to the deadly Terra Nova Expedition (“Falcon Scott Trail)” is potently matched by the lyrics to “Hangman’s Keep”, acknowledging the end of the line for three characters hanging off opposite edges of societies margins: a teenage heroin addict, a drought stricken shepherd, and a suicidal inmate.
For listeners familiar with Deliluh, Beneath The Floors reaffirms their knack for story telling. It’s also fitting that the album is slated for an early winter arrival, as a second act following Oath Of Intent’s fiery blaze. It’s journey often winds in tenuous anticipation before snapping cold into new musical worlds and eery plot lines. But what most differentiates this record are the boundaries with which the group push to share their stories. Ever undaunted in exploring the fringe, Deliluh continues to make their own rules, and their latest is a testament to what can be reaped from risk taking in today’s trivial times.