Search The Line of Best Fit
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Home Counties combat mundanity with rapturous eclecticism on Exactly As It Seems

"Exactly As It Seems"

Release date: 03 May 2024
Home Counties Exactly As It Seems cover
02 May 2024, 09:00 Written by Emily Savage

From boisterous highs to relentless lows, Home Counties’ ability to capture the tumultuousness of the every day through bouncy, maximalist soundscapes has fast secured them as notable indie noisemakers.

Now, over four years on since their debut single, Exactly As It Seems arrives as the band’s first full-length project. And, true to form, it’s a buzzing display of all that they have to offer.

A melting pot of weird yet wonderful sounds, Home Counties’ discography blends elements of funk, disco, psychedelia, and alternative rock to create a vibrantly unique palette. Agitated dance anthem “Uptight” edges into unbridled experimentalism, with frenetic guitars and plucky basslines serving as defiant bite-backs against clubbing culture. Meanwhile, “Funk U Up” marvels in art-rock chaos, with Harrison’s impressionistic vocals cutting through avant-garde arrangements. Taking the strengths of previous work and developing an even broader repertoire of influences, there’s an explorative way of thinking that prevails from even the earliest tracks.

Whether they’re reeling off the frustrations of modern living or reflecting on the dire ecological climate, Home Counties continues to balance lyrical frankness with musical buoyancy. Between twisting melodies and synthetic beats, “Dividing Lines” sketches a story of segregation, greed, and loss. “Lock the gates and swallow the key / So it stays in the family / Grow a hedge, fence or wall so we can’t see.” Harrison lays out. Blending politically charged prose with witty, lighter touches (“If you are what you eat / I’d be loads of meat / Chicken specifically” in “Push Comes To Shove” is undoubtedly a highlight), there’s a striking dichotomy channelled among ambient electronic tones.

Home Counties’ ability to hop between – and bend the limits of – genres makes for an enthralling listen throughout. Arguably the most musically diverse cut (which is an achievement in itself, given the record’s scope), “Wild Guess” captures the unpredictability, and inherent fun, of the band’s sound. What begins as a stripped-back, sombre ballad, quickly develops into an intense, groove-laden anthem, ready to light up any dancefloor. By the time that the title track arrives, the rambunctious energy is in full force and is only transcended by the defiant ecstasy of a heavily autotuned, upbeat dance track.

Closing out with (the nothing short of extravagant) six-minute-long finale, “Posthumous Spreadsheets” brings the band’s trailblazing vision to life once again. While the first half of the track sees Harrison’s tenor vocals emerge amongst eerie atmospherics, the latter amps up the energy with the addition of Kelly’s upper range. Musing over the vapidity of everyday life with unfiltered self-awareness, it’s a multi-faceted reflection on how, ultimately, we are all simply trying to make sense of ourselves and the world around us.

And with that, Home Counties have firmly asserted themselves as some of today’s brightest musical minds.

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