Scroobius Pip has done it again: with his fantastic new album, “Distraction Pieces”, he has taken topics traditionally seen as left-field and brought them centre-stage of UK music. In the album’s first two days of release, it has surged as high as number 7 on the iTunes charts, rising above Example’s “Playing in the Shadows”; last night, it could be seen rubbing shoulders with David Guetta, Ed Sheeran and Adele. This is a triumph of particular note, since Scroobius has released “Distraction Pieces” on his own label, “Speech Development”; to see him overtake many a major label on his ascent, armed with only subject-matter such as suicide, self-betterment and regime change, is both remarkable and inspiring to see.
But let’s not forget the music. This is, I think, his sharpest writing to date; the lead single, “Introdiction”, suggested as much, with the much-loved line “you see a mousetrap/I see free cheese and a f**king challenge”. When I saw the live launch of this album, my favourite track was “Broken Promises”, a tribute to the overwhelming disappointments that life offers us. However, my mp3 of choice from this LP is currently “Domestic Silence”. This tale, of a loner stepping tentatively towards happiness, features Scroobius laying an MF Doom flow over a frantic guitar riff, which then breaks down into the purest of head-nodders. Here, as elsewhere, the chanted hook is catchy and compelling:
“Silence can be golden/
But gold can sometimes suffocate, like that/
Girl in that James Bond film, too late to respirate/
Tragedy can be plain to see/
With lights and sirens,
But sometimes it ain’t so clear;
Not that you should want any name-dropping to consider buying this album; but, on the off-chance that you do, there are guest slots from Sage Francis, P.O.S., Travis Barker and B.Dolan, and production from Zane Lowe, Worgie and XL’s Richard Russell. All in all, the best possible way to relieve yourself of £8; if you’d like to do so, please visit this link.
Musa Okwonga is a director of Poejazzi. He is a poet, musician and football writer: you can find his electronica project The King’s Will here, and you can read his blogs for the Independent here.