Alpha Maid – CHUCKLE

The second release from Leisha Thomas under the Alpha Maid moniker, "CHUCKLE" is nowhere near as upbeat as the title might suggest. Grey and overcast, it ties together a sort of submerged/ Slint-adjacent post-rawk-via-jazz technicality with the DIY grit of '90s Seattle, but roots everything in contemporary London. Thomas's vocals lash out with range: sometimes a disquieting snarl, sometimes a pleasing, echoing hum, but always entrancing.

There's an eccentric spirit that recalls both Dean Blunt and This Heat in its disregard for stasis or formality. She pieces the record together like a sketchbook, cutting-and-pasting samples and editing her instrumentation with gleeful anarchy. It's pop music, just about, but charged with South London's hybrid energy and a distinctly British sense of socio-political unease.

Opener 'MILD WEATHER’ sounds like an inebriated brass band dipped in fuzz, 'NEWLY WOKE & THOUGHT PROVOKED’ could have been lifted straight off Yves Tumor’s PAN debut, all lowercase hooks and bursts of disruption, same with ‘SUM1’ but here skewed into a kind of insular pop reminiscent of La Timpa’s bruised avant-soul. ‘WOWOWOW’, features Diane Abbott being skewered by Today Programme numpties to grinding riffs, while ‘DOGGY' ends the set with a sort of beautiful art-rock coda that’s one part Virginia Astley to a slug of Micachu’s chopped & screwed London Sinfonietta headwreck.

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C.A.N.V.A.S. , 2021

Alpha Maid

Alpha Maid (aka Leisha Thomas) is a guitarist and producer from South East London who crafts compositions of lo-fi punk, grunge and glitch electronics. Also a member of CURL collective, who she occasionally joins for live shows. She released her debut EP, Spy, via their label in 2019. Her most recent release is second EP ‘CHUCKLE’ released in March 2021 via the collective and label C.A.N.V.A.S.

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