Despite having a "directional" haircut and a list of buddies that includes the fashion designer Hedi Slimane, Chelmsford one-man-band Ben Esser isn't a bad egg at all. Not only is he unimpressed by arty east London ("like Chelmsford, only with more graphic designers"), he applies a similarly dry approach to writing lyrics, which produces gems such as "Bury me inside like a knackered stallion" and "I've got a habit of getting my foot stuck in my mouth". Thus, it's hard to dislike his home-recorded debut, which turns out to be more than the sum of its electropop parts.
To hear the Brits talk about it, pop music across the pond is a dismal affair. It’s become more “Brittney” than “Brit-ish”, losing its native flavor and becoming all too generic.Enter Esser, the UK’s new hope to restore the pop n’ sizzle to the fizzling Brit-pop scene. Armed with an arsenal of unpretentious songs geared towards the dance floor and a keen desire to project an earnest authenticity of musical merriment sans pretension, Ben Esser has gone solo after gigging as the drummer for underwhelming British neo-punk outfit, LadyFuzz, who split up in 2007.
Modern life can be rubbish. Or so says Esser, an English electro-pop troubadour who sports a flattop that's vintage mod (or exaggerated Jordan Knight). Despite a nonchalant delivery and mostly sunny melodies, he seems down. On opener "Leaving Town", he says, "It feels like I'm drowning, so I threw my mobile in the sea." On the cartoonish chorus of the title track, he suggests putting on a brave face when the morning comes, and if that little affirmation doesn't see you through the day, attach a brick to your legs and jump into a lake.