There's No Fight We Can't Both Win

by Mammoth Penguins

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about

For the uninitiated, Mammoth Penguins are a 3-piece indie pop powerhouse, showcasing the songwriting and vocal talents of Emma Kupa (Standard Fare, The Hayman Kupa Band) backed up by the noisiest rhythm section in indie pop.

Their first album, Hide and Seek, was released with the much-loved and sorely missed Fortuna Pop! in 2015. Stand-out tracks ‘Strength In My Legs’ and ‘When I Was Your Age’ were picked up by BBC 6Music and Radio X, and the band played a live session for Marc Riley the following year.

But Mammoth Penguins didn’t want to stop there.  Their follow-up release John Doe in 2017 was an ambitious concept album, exploring the feelings of loss and anger at a man who fakes his own death, only to return years later. It featured contributions from Haiku Salut’s Sophie Barkerwood and Alto 45’s Joe Bear, and expanded well beyond the 3-piece rock‘n’roll template, with washes of strings, synths and samples (field recordings of butter being scraped on toast, photocopiers, and Ramsgate beach helping to fully immerse the listener in the world the band have created) filling out and developing Kupa’s songwriting.

Having had their ‘and now for something completely different’ moment, the band have brought that ambition and expanded palette to the production of this new release. The sound is big, bold and confident—with layers of guitars, backing vocals and keys all adding extra muscle—but maintaining Emma’s candid, heartfelt, confessional style of songwriting, and the jubilant power pop hooks that made the first record so special.  

This time around, classic themes of love, loss and conflict are (mostly) given a hopeful and optimistic spin that opposition is neither inevitable nor hopeless. For musical comparisons, think Land of Talk, and Philadelphia bands such as Swearin and Hop Along, but Kupa’s insight into the everyday and her ability to pen such relatable and honest missives means that, often, the best comparison for Mammoth Penguins’ music is with your own past.

“Like a lot of songwriters, my songs are derived from my own personal experiences, thoughts and feelings, long lived or fleeting. The times when people have said my lyrics resonate with them or articulate something specific for them are extremely validating for me and I hope that happens with this album. Arranging the songs with Mark and Tom is a massive buzz and playing them live as a band feels exciting and fantastic. Having Joe and Faith put their mark on the songs was also a massive privilege. When we’re working on a new song it gets to a point where we just want to keep repeatedly playing it over and over. However, making a record can be an extremely slow and drawn out process that requires patience, perseverance and resilience, and because of that we are super excited and proud to be releasing this album.” Emma Kupa, Mammoth Penguins.

credits

released April 26, 2019

Written by Mammoth Penguins.

Performed by Emma Kupa (vocals and guitar), Mark Boxall (bass and
backing vocals), and Tom Barden (drums and backing vocals).
Additional guitar (including lead on There Is So Much More) by Faith Taylor. Keys and additional sounds by Joe Bear. Cello by Mark Boxall.

Recorded and mixed by Owen Turner and Mammoth Penguins at Sickroom Studios in 2018.
Mastered by Joe Caithness.

Artwork by Dinosaurs For All.
Graphic design by Vicky Barden.

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Track Name: Closure
Never really understood what closure was. Last time we met, it’s what I got.
Never really understood what closure meant, walking away from you felt different.
And you know we sat by the fire, and you know we talked for hours. And we pissed off all your friends, staying till the end.
All the yearning and all the regret, all the sadness left me.
Never really understood what friendship was and then we met and then I could.
Never really understood what friendship meant. Being with you, it felt different.
Can you believe how long it’s been? You know I’d do it all again. I can’t believe all the things you got right. It’s not been the same since those nights.
Track Name: Dick Move
I should have told you I’d be late. I should have called you on the way. I should have told you you looked great. I should have had the guts to say.
It was a dick move, baby (I’m sorry).
I should never have talked you down, now I’m gonna have to talk you round. I didn’t mean to shut you out. I never wanted to cut you out.
It was a dick move, baby (I’m sorry).
I apologise for all the lies, it was a dick move.
Track Name: There Is So Much More
Countless times we’ve argued, countless times we’ve hated each other. So many more times there’s been joy, so much of the time we’ve been happy. I’ve always hesitated. I tend to look for the negative. Never singing your praises, not celebrating your graces.
And it’s not your good looks, it’s not your sense of humour. Although that did help, there’s so much more.
I guess I can’t take criticism. I can’t show that I’m vulnerable. You always listened. I just caused you trouble. There’s no shame in the love you give. There’s no restraint to our closeness. There’s no shame in the love you give. There’s no fight we can’t both win.
Track Name: I Wanna
I wanna touch your hand, wanna look into your eyes. I wanna see you wearing that shirt you like.
I wanna brush your hair, I wanna stroke your thigh. I wanna be there waiting when your train arrives.
I love you. Fuck it all.
I wanna cook you food, I wanna save your life. I wanna make you feel good on a Sunday night.
I wanna do it all, I wanna make it right. I wanna be the best lover you’ve ever tried.
I love you. Fuck it all.
Track Name: Let Yourself Be
Restraint and self-discipline, oh what have we become? Tame and never around to have any fun. Oh, what have we become?
Let yourself be and don’t give yourself such a hard time.
Bottle it up, keep it all in, don’t let yourself feel. Stop meaning anything until nothing is real. Keep on until it’s not real.
Let yourself be and don’t give yourself such a hard time.
What did I do to make you feel sad? What can I do to make you feel good?
Let yourself be and don’t give yourself such a hard time.
Track Name: Put It All On You
I put it all on you ‘cause you asked me to by letting me in and then pushing me out.
You played me like a violin and then you gave me up. How was I supposed to move on? I can’t give myself up.
You filled me with confidence and then you drained it all out. I know I shouldn’t depend on someone not to feel down. But you got me so high and now I’m so low. I don’t know how I got here or where next I should go.
But the more I try, the more you move away. If only I had known what I was getting myself into. And the more I smile, the more you stray. If only I had walked when you said to.
You said I was everything and then it all stopped, like I was your hallway light that you just switched off.
And now we’re friends and everything’s fine but when I catch your eye now and then it’s like nothing’s changed.
But the more I try, the more you move away. If only I had known what I was getting myself into. And the more I smile, the more you stray. If only I had walked when you said to.
I put it all on you. I don’t care what you think of me and I don’t care if you judge me.
Track Name: Quit My Job
Quit my job and it felt good. Now I feel free, yeah, free. Been there four years, felt like a prison, that’s all gone now, gone now. Gone forever.
I may be cold, I may be broke. My time’s my own, yeah, own. Wasting my days counting down the hours, that’s all gone now, gone now. Gone forever.
Track Name: Cold and Lonely Place
You said I deserve to be happy. What on earth does that mean? Coming from a cold and lonely place.
You said I deserve to be happy. I’m just trying to do the right thing, most of the time.
Working towards something, trying to get somewhere.
Trying to stay invested, gotta prove that I care.
You said I should know my heart. Where do I even start? Coming from a cold and lonely place.
You said I should know myself. I don’t even know what I’m wearing, half the time.
Working towards something, trying to get somewhere.
Trying to stay invested, gotta prove that I care.
Coming from a cold and lonely place.
Track Name: Trust Me
Cut out all the bullshit we know you’re not like that underneath. Stop acting like you know it all, show some vulnerability. I know that there are important things that you’ve got to say but even if you choose not to I’ll hear them anyway.
You see I know how you feel so trust me. And let me in.
When I see you acting like everything is fine and I know all of the pain you carry in your life. I wish sometimes you could learn to lean on your friends. Don’t isolate yourself, remember who’s around.
You see I know how you feel so trust me. And let me in.
Track Name: Doesn't Work
Doesn’t work if we talk, it doesn’t work if we don’t talk.
I know you inside out but I don’t know you at all. We try to talk it out, it takes forever.
It doesn’t work if we laugh, It doesn’t work if we don’t laugh.
There’s a funny side to everything but there isn’t to that. We try to laugh it off, it doesn’t work.
It doesn’t work if we kiss, It doesn’t work if we don’t kiss.
I want you all over but I don’t want this. I tell myself to quit but I don’t listen.
Track Name: You Just Carry On
When I’m feeling sad and I don’t know why, I think of you and it makes me cry. You only ever did what you wanted to, and I wanted you.
When I’m feeling lonely and it’s late at night, I dream of you lying by my side. I feel the thrill of your eyes on mine and I want to die.
And you, you just carry on. Oh me, I’m not that strong.
And you, you’re oblivious to it all. Oh, I am much too stubborn.
When I stop and think about this situation, I’ll happily admit it’s just an infatuation. I’ll get right back to my allocated station and try to do better.
There’s no point to this and there never was. There’s no good in this and there never was. There’s no hope in this and there never was. There never was.
And you, you just carry on. Oh me, I’m not that strong.
And you, you’re oblivious to it all. Oh, I am much too stubborn.