Tag Archives: Department M

Department M Release Live Video Of Forthcoming Single, Miscellany

Department M are to closely follow up their self-titled album with single, Miscellany, out digitally via Fierce Panda on January 20. Led by ex-Grammatics main man Owen Brinley, the band have posted a lovingly-filmed live video version of the song.

Miscellany begins with classical compositions introducing a completely sombre side to the band but this soon changes. The odd drum beat kicks in against the melodic vocals – at first it sounds like nothing on this song compliments each other but eventually it all sinks in together building a fantastic song for releasing as a single. It’s a quirky song. It’s completely chaotic but not unlikeable. Brinley’s vocals during the chorus are particularly clever – he uses his voice’s capacity as much as he can to create another layer to this song.

Department M play a special free entry launch party this Friday 10 January, headlining The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch (stage time 10.30pm). They’re also playing Brudenell Social Club in Leeds on 24 January. Visit their website for more details.

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Department M Album Review

Department M recently released their self-titled mini album through Fierce Panda. Led by Owen Brinley, formerly the front man of Grammatics, the Leeds-based quartet fully explore their expansive indie/electronic palette over the eight tracks on offer.

As part of Fierce Panda’s Pandamonium festival, Department M are headlining a special free entry show at The Old Blue Last on Friday 10 January. They are also giving away a free MP3 of the song J-Hop from the album over on SoundCloud here.

Ostensibly a creative vehicle for Owen Brinley, Department M have spent the past year cautiously yet crunchingly developing a fascinating, fizzing sound which combines the heroic synths of yesteryear with a cutting contemporary electro sensibility. Depeche Mode, Air, Talk Talk, Cabaret Voltaire and – of course – ELO are just some of the names referenced in their company, and fair play too – Owen Brinley is decidedly not a man afraid of a saxophone solo. Bolstered by a four person-strong live line-up this is an act which can straddle the divide between the shiny retro-obsessed Classic Pop magazine and the cool dark alleyways of modern East London.

In March Department M released the I’ll Fax You An Apology/Black Boutique single on local label Hide & Seek. In June, they released the The Second Prize/Absentia single through Too Pure. This handy Department M mini-album brings together most of the songs on those first two releases, throws in future single Miscellany – due out in January 2014 – adds a couple more toweringly sombre tunes and waits for the light to come pouring out of the sky.

Department M

Department M

Visitor is a scene builder for the album; it’s dramatic and dark. It’s shortness adds to the tension just as short sentences add to the drama in a book. pHARMACY on the other hand resembles an 80s pop song spin off. There’s your echoing drum beats, dramatic synths and soft, feminine vocals which all make this song sound like something that’s been futuristically transported from the 80s to now. The vocals are particularly soulful and melodic on pHARMACY.

I’ll Fax You An Apology is a song with swooping, emotional vocals mixed with electronic rock style music. It really is a unique sound.

J-Hop is the latest track to be given away for free by Department M. J-Hop starts with angelic harp sounds and relaxing synths before the dramatic drum beat is introduced alongside the vocals which are full of attitude, “We ply/By the logic of the reasoned minds/And one last time I’ll come to your body/What do you need?” The chorus on J-Hop is brilliant. The lyrics “If I could keep you closer” are accompanied by disorienting synths and chaotic melodies and drum beats which add to the tension and climax.

The Second Prize changes the tone of the mini album – the offbeats introduce a happier, more upbeat tone despite the lyrics in the first verse which juxtapose the upbeat melodies, “We’re alive by the second prize/You mirror me fucking bleach the lies/So dry/So dry/So dry”.

Miscellany is the next single to be released by Department M in January 2014. It begins with classical compositions introducing a completely sombre side to a previously hectic album but this soon changes. The odd drum beat kicks in against the melodic vocals – at first it sounds like nothing on this song compliments each other but eventually it all sinks in together building a fantastic song for releasing as a single. It’s the quirky song on the mini album to say the least. It’s completely chaotic but not unlikeable. Brinley’s vocals during the chorus are particularly clever – he uses his voice’s capacity as much as he can to create another layer to his songs.

Absentia is based around a flowing over-driven hip-hop drum loop and smooth swathes of analogue synthesiser. This is a track that uses space as an instrument. The swooping vocals of “I’m breathing out/I’m breathing in…” and the dramatic drum beat juxtapose the floating noises of the synths. It has a mystical sound that will have you hooked in a second.

SleepWalker uses Brinley’s vocals as the main instrument which hasn’t been done on the rest of the songs on the mini album. The cascading synths compliment Brinley’s feminine vocals and the superb harmonies heard on this track. This is a track that uses absence as a positive rather than a negative. Brinley’s vocals shine – they are angelic, soulful and full of emotion. This is the underdog song on the mini album.

Department M’s self-titled mini album is out now.

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Department M Reveal Second Track of Double A-Side Release, The Second Prize/Absentia

Department M have showcased their new single The Second Prize after having recently revealed the other track Absentia that forms the double A-side set for release on June 24 through Too Pure Singles Club.
The Second Prize sees the Leeds group at their cleanest and meanest yet. Funk bass and techno flourishes adorn a skewed but direct vision of hard modern pop music. The track’s aggression is contained but palpable, every warped sound knows its place.
Department M

Department M

Directed by the group’s drummer Tommy Davidson, the video is a spectre of not-so-long-forgotten 80’s technology and aesthetics, ridden with smashed up cassettes and analogue TVs. The camera focuses on disjointed, almost robotic movements that seem to somehow run so smoothly when accompanied by the band’s accomplished sound and Department M mastermind Owen Brinley’s distinctive bitter-sweet vocals.

“We needed a location to shoot our first music video and winded up trespassing in a dark church basement for four days whilst the congregation worshipped above” explains Brinley. “It went without hitch until the raging church owner caught us about to dismantle a wall of 25 TVs and threatened to call the police.”
Following on from debut I’ll Fax You An Apology, released through Leeds label Hide & Seek records earlier in the year, this new release consolidates the abrasive beauty exhibited and shifts Department M’s sound forward with brutalist pop economy.

Now established as a hypnotic and pummeling live act, the last six months have seen Department M tour the UK with Menace Beach as well as taking in early summer festivals Live at Leeds and YO1. This summer they’ll continue on the road with dates in support of this Too Pure Singles Club release and with festival slots at Beacons and Tramlines.

See Department M live:

26 June Leeds A Nation Of Shopkeepers
10 July London Hoxton Bar and Kitchen
21 July Tramlines Festival, Sheffield
18 August Beacons Festival, Skipton

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Department M To Release Second Single, Double A-Side The Second Prize/Absentia

Department M will release a second single, double a-side The Second Prize/Absentia through Too Pure on June 24.

Following on from the debut single release I’ll Fax You An Apology which was released through Leeds label Hide & Seek records earlier in the year, this new release consolidates the abrasive beauty exhibited and shifts Department M’s sound forward with brutalist pop economy.

Department M

Department M

Absentia has been released online and can be heard here. Based around a flowing over-driven hip-hop drum loop and smooth swathes of analogue synthesizer, this is a track that uses space as an instrument. Eschewing the taut, tense feel of it’s counterpart, The Second Prize, Absentia has a wide beauty and relief after the tension of the first side. The swooping vocals of “I’m breathing out/I’m breathing in…” and the dramatic drum beat juxtapose the floating noises of the synths. It has a mystical sound that will have you hooked in a second.

Now established as a hypnotic and pummelling live act, the last six months have seen Department M tour the UK with Menace Beach as well as taking in early summer festivals Live at Leeds and YO1. This summer they’ll continue on the road with dates in support of this Too Pure Singles Club release and with festival slots at Beacons and Tramlines.

See Department M live:
26 June Leeds A Nation Of Shopkeepers
10 July London Hoxton Bar and Kitchen
21 July Tramlines Festival, Sheffield
18 August Beacons Festival, Skipton.

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Department M Debut Single Release I’ll Fax You An Apology

DEPARTMENT M, the new project of Leeds-based Owen Brinley, releases it’s debut single on March 25 through Hide and Seek Records.

Brinley’s career as a DJ and binge-drinker in many Leeds nightclubs saw him suffering with Hyperacusis, an acute over-sensitivity to certain frequency ranges. He decided a lifestyle change was needed but giving up his love for music wasn’t an option.

His condition over time created a tension, an adversary to battle against and something which informed the lyrical and musical elements that would mould Department M’s sound. Brinley uses bitter industrial noise in his compositions to compliment the prevalent 80s analogue synth he so loves – perhaps its his way of inflicting discomfort back onto the music, perhaps it eases his own pain.

Department M

Leeds-based alternative band, Department M

You can listen to the debut single, I’ll Fax You An Apology here. I’ll Fax You An Apology is a song with swooping, emotional vocals mixed with electronic rock style music. It really is a unique sound.

Department M got its name from the grey and dour drama, The Lives Of Others on the night Brinley recorded the first of his songs last year. The first demo was more designed than written, on an ancient Toshiba laptop with some stolen software and a missing enter key.

In between Brinley’s trips to the job centre, producer James Kenosha (Pulled Apart By Horses) pushed these recordings into the forefront. The sound of the project took on a surrealist future/retro adjacency, swathes of analogue synthesizer born in the same era as Brinley himself were stained with ad-libbed noise breaks and oscillations.

The results of these sessions, finished in mid 2012, were posted online and attracted the attention of Leeds label Hide And Seek Records.

With a live band now gigging together, Department M demands attention in 2013.

See Department M live on the following dates:

25th March – Old Blue Last, London  (Free entry)
27th March – Kraak Gallery, Manchester
29th March – Wharf Chambers, Leeds

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Introducing…Department M

Department M is the new project of Leeds-based Owen Brinley. The debut single from the artist, I’ll Fax You An Apology, is set for release on March 25 through Hide and Seek Records.

Brinley’s career as a DJ and binge-drinker in many Leeds nightclubs saw him suffering with Hyperacusis, an acute over-sensitivity to certain frequency ranges. He decided a lifestyle change was needed but giving up his love for music wasn’t an option.

Department M

Leeds-based alternative band, Department M

His condition over time created a tension, an adversary to battle against and something which informed the lyrical and musical elements that would mould Department M’s sound. Brinley uses bitter industrial noise in his compositions to compliment the prevalent 80s analogue synth he so loves – perhaps its his way of inflicting discomfort back onto the music, perhaps it eases his pain.

You can listen to the debut single, I’ll Fax You An Apology here. I’ll Fax You An Apology is a song with swooping, emotional vocals mixed with electronic rock style music. It really is a unique sound.

Department M got its name from the grey and dour drama, The Lives Of Others on the night Brinley recorded the first of his songs last year. The first demo was more designed than written, on an ancient Toshiba laptop with some stolen software and a missing enter key.

In between Brinley’s trips to the job centre, producer James Kenosha (Pulled Apart By Horses) pushed these recordings into the forefront. The sound of the project took on a surrealist future/retro adjacency, swathes of analogue synthesizer born in the same era as Brinley himself were stained with ad-libbed noise breaks and oscillations.

The results of these sessions, finished in mid 2012, were posted online and attracted the attention of Leeds label Hide And Seek Records.

With a live band now gigging together, Department M demands attention in 2013.

See Department M live on the following dates:

25th March – Old Blue Last, London  (Free entry)
27th March – Kraak Gallery, Manchester
29th March – Wharf Chambers, Leeds

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