Australia’s Tropical Fuck Storm have announced their new album, Deep States, out August 20th on Joyful Noise, and present its lead single/video ‘G.A.F.F.’ Deep States mines new cultural terrains and digs into the subjective state of contemporary panic. Over the last five years, you didn’t have to be conspiratorial to see the conspiracies everywhere you turned; and Gareth Liddiard, Fiona Kitschin, Erica Dunn, and Lauren Hammel, know how to make friends with the strange. The band chronicles weird adventures in statecraft and surveillance, ponders the global infatuation with resurgent fascisms. Tropical Fuck Storm shine an incandescent light on a world in which corporate media, bad-faith leaders, and charismatics of all stripes lose the ability to recognise their own deceptiveness.
Deep States is not quite a protest album. The band is far too wary of the self-importance attached to songs in the didactic mode. “We make pop records that don’t deny we’re all in a bit of trouble here,” Liddiard says. But Tropical Fuck Storm do their preaching on the sly, always cognizant of the fact they are making pop music, after all, no matter how avant-garde or “out there” it gets. Deep States comes complete with Q drops, nods to the January 6th Capitol Riot, a riff on pizzagate, MAGAs squaring off with Antifas, waterboarded Martians, dangerous cults from Heaven’s Gate to The Shining Path and, not to be outdone, Romeo agents who bed us at night only to betray us by morning. We live in a world in which the bizarre has become the normative, and Tropical Fuck Storm plumb that paradox.
What makes Tropical Fuck Storm so great is the intersection between their dark but satiric storytelling and musical arrangements intent on perverting received canons and wisdoms. Entering into a Tropical Fuck Storm song is like arriving late to a live show where everybody’s grooving and too far gone to notice you. Even though the track has already been cut, you feel as though the band’s still improvising, making it all up as you listen. These songs are an experiment, advancing and retreating at their own idiosyncratic, deeply unsettling pace. They hang on the slant beat and slide into jazzy, distortion-packed jams so tumultuous they’d make Charlie Mingus proud. Musically, Deep States goes wherever it wants, riffing on pop, R&B, Talking Heads-style new wave, Delta blues, Tom Waits, and some of the band’s hip-hop favorites such as Wu-Tang Clan and Missy Elliott. Barriers aren’t just broken, they seem to have completely fallen away.
Lead single ‘G.A.F.F.’ buzzes with urgent vocals, bursts of intricate guitar and bass, and sharp lyrics. The band elaborates: “‘Give A Fuck Fatigue’ is an ode to the occasional dispassion brought about by the mandatory concern for every perceived injustice that happens, has happened and might yet happen that is being foisted upon the masses by super-yacht dwelling tech barons who monetise our indignation.” The accompanying video is over-saturated and reflects the track’s chaotic edge and theme.
Deep States Tracklist: