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Guests - "I wish I was special" LP

Guests - "I wish I was special" LP

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Guests are Jessica Higgins and Matthew Walkerdine of Glasgow, UK, both formerly of the bands Vital Idles and Mordwaffe. They have been closely tied with DIY music, art and publishing for over a decade. Using (amateur) electronics, singing, speaking and field recording they make songs which blend the rhythms of popular music and contemporary approaches to collage, sampling, improvisation and repetition. As inspired by film and art as they are the legacies of twee underground and avant garde experimentalism, their loose, domestically twinged compositions explore feelings, atmospheres and moments which are hard to articulate and the quite literal notion of being a “guest”.

“I wish I was special” is their debut record, and with it a chance taken to explore terrain not previously covered by their other groups. The ideology of DIY practice appears integral to these eleven compositions, side-stepping virtuosity in favour of instinct and impression, unafraid to press unknown buttons and walk head first into mistake, finding inspiration where convention might not otherwise allow one to tread. The results are confoundingly fresh, sharp-of-mind, and unusually intimate. There’s an obvious intelligence at play here, and no little humour of course, but crucially there’s also a sense of the personal, a first-thought/best-thought (auto)didacticism that celebrates shared understanding and implicit trust. What, ultimately, we might view as the fearlessness in radically being yourself around another. It’s an approach that draws some comparison with the private musings of Flaming Tunes, Idea Fire Company’s domestic electronics, or perhaps even Annea Lockwood’s framing of emotional connection within avant garde structures. More so, Guests represent a compelling continuation of DIY post-punk experimentation that values intuition over prowess, and with it guides the listener into unexpected spaces that somehow comfort as much as they challenge. 

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