Glasgow's HQFU is back with a stunning and euphoric new track ahead of her debut album, due next month.
There's a good reason why Mogwai released an album called Rave Tapes, and it's not that they wanted to add to their list of unbeatable song titles. Rave and dance tapes did the rounds at high schools across the country, particularly in Scotland, and gave teenage kids something to live for when school and home life became a bit too much to bear. Sarah J. Stanley, aka HQFU, has clearly heard a few of these compilations.
While previous releases "Ca$hle$$ Lip$" and "Dust & Dirt" explored house rhythms and more abrasive, industrial zones respectively, "Good Reason" heads firmly back to the early 90s when the titans of the dance scene TTF and QFX ruled with glow sticks raised firmly aloft. While that music was euphoric, HQFU adds a grimy and dark edge as sharp staccato beats and Stanley's menacingly muffled vocal - liberally sprinkled with cuss words - cut across the melodic squelches and bleeps, hitting stunning crescendo after crescendo across the track's incredible five minutes.
Of the track, Stanley told us "I feel like these days I'm urgently reaching into people¹s inherent carnal intelligence, asking them to consider telling stuff like the motivational slogans of the social media age to fuck off, and make up their own rules based in their human acumen not spiritualised bullshit. At the same time I make personal over-promises to try and help, even though I'm/we're helpless. We might only have each other, so we make our own concoction of placebos and tonics to keep the comfort of love and solidarity alive as long as we have to live here. I write to ease my own darkness, but maybe in that there is an alliance useful to you as well."
HQFU is reaching into the darkness on "Good Reason", but somewhere in the murk there's another hand, stretching out for exactly the same reason. Grab it.
"Good Reason" is out 1 April and HQFU's self-titled debut album follows on 8 April. Tour dates follow, and listen exclusively to the single below.
March 15th – Broadcast, Glasgow (Hayden James support)
April 1st – The Tunnels, Aberdeen
April 8th – Album Launch at The Glad Cade, Glasgow (TYCI hosting w/ MØGEN)
May 11th – Restless Natives festival w/ Nightwave
June 3rd - Brew at the Bog, Inverness