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Lazy Day Press Shot April 2024 Valentina Concordia

Lazy Day’s “Killer” cannibalises queer love

22 May 2024, 11:30 | Written by Steve Forstneger

The newly-minted Brace Yourself Records signee Lazy Day issue a track that detours through a TV series-cum-mirror, delivering a frenzied hunger for seeing queerness in the world

Tilly Scantlebury seems to need more than a gentle nudge when changing their approach to music-making. A meticulous researcher (with a doctorate in modern art), Lazy Day’s driving force has scrutinised all manner of impulsive creatives who upend career arcs before inspiration can finish speaking. In their own art, they can be dogmatic. After all, it took a global pandemic for them to reconsider recording only that which could be reproduced in a live setting (necessity is the mother of invention: in those early days of lockdown, live settings were on the endangered list.)

Until “Killer,” Scantlebury adhered to generally autobiographical lyrical narratives; it wasn’t necessarily on purpose, just that’s what became routine and that’s what Lazy Days was. The show Hannibal – a spinoff of the 1990s film The Silence Of The Lambs about a cannibalistic serial killer, a.k.a. subjects more germane to death metal than artful indie pop – awoke them to the concept of incorporating fiction into their songwriting.

“I wrote [‘Killer’] after watching Hannibal,” they explain, “a series that's both twisted and extremely camp, centred around the love/hate relationship between Hannibal (the forensic psychiatrist, and famous cannibal) and Will (a special investigator). I had initially thought that 'Killer' was the first time I’d written about something that had nothing to do with me, but the more I got into the song, the more I understood it to be pulling from my own experience. Fact and fiction began to blur as the writing process went on, existing somewhere between this fictitious relationship, and my own real-life queer one."

Its high-hat happy percussion might be a distant cry from Behemoth’s frenzied blast beats, but the opening lyrics would be up the Polish band’s alley: “Float in the river, dragging them out / Catching a killer, how do they know?” Ironically, Lazy Day has landed in this theme while producing their least guitar-centric single yet. Previously indebted to shoegaze and crunchy indie rock, Scantlebury uses their Stratocaster to accessorise the core, electric-piano chords and bass. While their Camden roots might be 5,000 miles from a clear contemporary like Alaska Reid, both artists draw from a steady diet of ‘Til Tuesday, The Pretenders, and even a sprinkle of St. Vincent’s harmonies.

An analyst would have a field day unwrapping how “Killer” contorts into a love song (“Making you dinner, taste what you like/Onto a winner, come take a bite”), but in this serial-murderer’s mind it all makes sense.

“I became a kind of detective myself, searching for moments in the show — glimmers of love or desire — that felt familiar to me,” Scantlebury says. “It was my own hunger for seeing queerness in the world that made me want to turn this into a song. And even though I was looking for something authentic, it was creatively useful to retain an element of fiction. It allowed me to take more risks, both in the lyrics and the production, delivered with a new confidence. There’s something to be said for existing between the real and the imaginary." There’s something also to be said for the thrill of the risk.

"Killer" is out now. Find Lazy Day on Instagram.

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