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.
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