Album of the Month: Apostille - 'Choose Life'
Here at Monorail we find ourselves on the opposite side of the fence from Morrissey on just about everything. You know that song, 'We hate it when our friends become successful'? We love it, we embrace it, we want it for them, we want it for us. So, it’s with great pride that we today announce a new record by Apostille which is of course the incredible weirdo pop project devised by our very own Michael (Kasparis).
Following on from his brilliant, gritty self-titled debut, Choose Life could not be a clearer declaration of intent. Super melodic, lush, strident, funny, both introspective and extrospective. Is that a word? If it isn’t yet, this is the exact time for it. Recorded in Glasgow with Lewis Cook (Happy Meals), early impressions are of an ambitious, open sounding record full of hope and possibility. It’s a modern record, modern in the way that the oddest things come together in most of the best records these days. Here it’s bits of 80s synth most noticeably Fad Gadget and Soft Cell, bits of budget R&B, bits of DIY outsiderness. Can’t really think of anyone else doing quite what Michael does with Apostille, his closest contemporaries are probably his friends, Patience, Virginia Wing and Molly Nilsson.
Choose Life has a bold truth about it, starting out as a chronicle of a bad time and ending up a life-affirming fists in the air triumph. You surely already know that Feel Bad is one of the anthems of 2018 but it’s no flash in the pan, each song has its own identity, not through overloading the palette but just by doing something unexpected. It’s humane, it’s flawed, it’s human. It’s certainly not risk averse, it’s a bit like working with Michael. We haven’t heard anything better all summer. What more can we say - nothing.
Over to Michael!
By the time you read this I will be on a beach. I have decided to take a holiday from Monorail, Scotland, responsibilities. I’ve Chosen Life, for a couple of weeks at least. One of the main reasons I booked this holiday, if you must know, is that the site of my own face at work all day, every week on the wall would have driven me to a narcissistic, existential meltdown so I thought I’d skip town.
You’re reading this, maybe, because Monorail have contacted you about an album I made, with the help of my friend Lewis Cook of Happy Meals. Monorail have made the Apostille album Choose Life their Album Of The Month for June and I am extremely happy about this, chiefly because it was a decision I had no input into. Nevertheless, If I thought it was a bad record rest assured I would have fought strongly for Virginia Wing’s record Ecstatic Arrow, which just came out and is also a very good record. However, I actually think my album is a brilliant record and I’m really proud of it. Record shops will always have inbuilt biases towards things they like or records made by friends and that’s why you trust record shops over algorithms, right? Monorail either really like my album or they’re attempting to make me successful so they can fire me in good conscience and replace me with someone less annoying.
Joking aside, the album was written with George Michael and the 80s CHOOSE LIFE/LOVE movement in mind. Originally I’d planned the title to be ironic, there’s a really depressive metal band called Lifelover which was also in my mind when writing these songs and to be frank I was having a difficult time at the beginning of the writing process. But as the songs matured I remembered why it was I play music in the first place, because it celebrates The Moment. Music as an experience celebrates the moment as its lived, you’re always present and alive when listening to your favourite song. So it became a kind of rallying call to seize the day, make every minute count or you can insert your own Carpe Diem cliche here. Whatever, these are 8 songs I’ve lived to death and come out the other end of. Maybe you’ll find something in them, maybe you won’t. But Choose Life either way, devoid of irony and sincerely.