The Menace of Mechanical Music2020
Team Picture releases debut album 'The Menace of Mechanical Music' via Clue Records on 12th June, backed by current single 'Handsome Machine' (out 26th June). Inspired by an early 20th Century essay by American marching band leader, John Phillip Sousa, Team Picture take a look at the automation of creativity, on their debut LP. Themes centre around the value of creative identity in an automated age, the increasingly disposable nature of art and where that leaves its creators. At twelve songs split into a three-part suite; 'The Menace of Mechanical Music' is emphatically maximalist. Tracks like the breathy, twinkling 'Flowerpots, Electric Beds' and 'Handsome Machine's Icarus-like striving for the sun are an antidote to a music world awash with digital production and manipulation and songs written to an algorithm. In debating the loosening of the human grip on creativity, Team Picture have poured every last drop of emotion into the recording process. Recorded with producer Matt Peel (W.H Lung, Eagulls), half of the group were unemployed during the session and a daily routine would see them undertake Universal Credit meetings and job interviews in the morning, before heading to the studio to work into the night. “It was an anxious process, but an enjoyable one” says the band's guitarist Josh Lewis. Beyond the increasingly golden gated idea of 'making it' and as an artist, this new album is simply about surviving as one. Sousa's vision of a society that had deferred to automation, where babies were rocked to sleep by wheels and pulleys, and people no longer played piano with their own hands. Well over 100 years later, and on the precipice of a technological shift never seen before, 'The Menace of Mechanical Music' is the most human response that Team Picture could have given.