In ‘The Seven Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues’ Nancy spits in the face of normality – Album review
Standing at a staggering seven foot tall with a penchant for sewing and David Bowie, Jamie Hall, aka Nancy, was never going to simply ‘fit in’. As the frontman of Alt-rock Brighton three piece, Tigerclub, hiding behind an imposing mustache and slacker persona was perhaps the easier alternative to standing out so obviously. His most recent stand-alone EP, ‘The Seven Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues’, bravely does just that; stand-alone. The title track, which Nancy claims is ‘a full portrait of me in that particular moment of my life, warts an’ all’, joyfully shirks any expectation.
‘Bizzaro trash pop’: that’s Nancy’s genre, according to his twitter profile. An eclectic mix of sixties psychedelia, seventies glam-rock and a certain something all his own, the EP is pretty far from the heavy indie that Tigerclub fans have come to expect. In an interview with Guitar.com Nancy agreed – ‘if I was to try and express those passions within the context of the band, I felt like I may end up inadvertently pulling us away from the thing that fans come to Tigercub for – heavy rock’.
In contrast, listening to ‘The Seven Foot Tall Post-Suicidal Feel Good Blues’ feels like watching an exhilarated Nancy let loose in the recording studio. Fuelled by new-found freedom, he bounces from the ecstatic highs of upbeat rhythms to numb lows accompanied by heart-piercing lyrics. In his own words ‘Seven foot blues is bi-polar’. Where the circular warbling synths of ‘Happy Happy Happy’ convey repetitive the misery of Doomscrolling through social media, and the concise ‘Clic Clac’ is ‘an ode to anxiety’, Nancy’s opening track is a euphoric celebration of ‘rocking it on my own’ after a life time of feeling different.
The song does what it says on the kaleidoscopic tin, telling the story of that ‘post-suicidal feel good’ feeling. Seeped in a fuzzy vintage tone, Nancy croons ‘I used think about suicide every week’. The line unmistakably samples the melody of MGMT’s ‘Time to pretend’; the reference lends the track a multiplicity of down-on-their-luck, yet upbeat, voices.
He’s quick to assert that now, however, that these depressive feelings are ‘all gone’. The relaxed tempo contributes to a chilled out feeling. Each beat marches confidently forwards the future, matching Nancy’s tone as he reminisces on how he ‘used to hunch my back’. As the chorus picks up in crashing guitars that might remind fans of Nancy’s Tigerclub roots, the track’s elation peaks.
This feeling of blissful freedom continues in the music video for ‘Seven Foot Blues’. Centered and alone on deserted mountain-top, Nancy stares into the horizon peacefully. As we cut to his face squashed against the lens, Nancy materialized the glass panel between ‘us’ and ‘him’.
This separation, however, is not to be despaired over. As he gleefully leaps around the empty hills, you get the feeling that having finally embraced what makes him different, Nancy is happy to be alone.
As the song comes to a close, the video takes an a nostalgic sepia tone.
Nancy marches funereally to the top of the hill and offers a bunch of yellow flowers to the sky. His facial expressions turn from confident to ponderous. An air of uncertainty is certainty afoot. Isolated but liberated, we can only wait and see what Nancy might produce next.
Words by Kate Bowie