Turtle Taxi

by Suggested Friends

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    12" sky blue vinyl, printed inner sleeve, reverse white uncoated board outer sleeve, complete with download coupon.

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about

NB: North American fans: save yourself some shipping costs - you can order the vinyl direct from our friends at Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records if you'd prefer a US pressing! hhbtm.com/product/suggested-friends-turtle-taxi/

Suggested Friends are an indie rock quartet with a firm grounding in queer identity, fusing DIY punk roots with the interweaving guitars of 90s indie and a sometimes tongue-in-cheek take on the performative masculinity of 80s rock. There’s a tenderness to their songwriting, with lyrics reflecting on cultural malaise, trauma recovery and the banal absurdity of everyday life. Personal politics can come with an incisively dry sense of humour too.

Turtle Taxi is their second album and demonstrates just how far they’ve come from the raw, scuzzy sounds of their DIY debut; unrepentant in letting the pop hooks loose. The choruses are big, harmonies frequent, and guitar solos abound - this is a lush, textured leap forward.
Suggested Friends are more confident, acknowledging emotional pain and exploring how this affective space elides with a more expansive sense of injustice in the world.

On Pretty Soon Your Grave Will Be A Landfill the earnestness and absurdity of gaslighting politicians is laid bare, through to the futility of naming social ills and not acting on them on At Ease. The album’s title track, Turtle Taxi, talks about the relationship between love as a labour and the focusing in on life as an opportunity for that to flourish in all directions – (‘teach ‘til I die, let this all pass by…’).

The quieter numbers on the record, such as At Ease or Blooms, recall folkier inspiration such as The Weather Station and Hiss Golden Messenger, through to the alt-pop oddness of Nilufer Yanya and Blood Orange. But for parallels as a socially conscious, high-energy and vulnerable punk pop band, think Martha or Charly Bliss - though they’d argue for that perfect sweet spot between Weezer and Abba!

Recorded in rural Norfolk over two separate sessions a year apart, album was able to flourish into a more collaborative effort, incorporating Faith’s wife Meghan on percussion and Sickroom Studio's Owen on trumpet - plus plenty of time to experiment with overdubs and piano flourishes to up that classic-rock vibe that simmers just under the surface.

Suggested Friends formed in late 2015 following a chance meeting at a gig between Christabel (drums) and Faith (guitar and vocals). They were soon joined by Jack on guitar, who had met Faith through an activist group in London. Mammoth Penguins’ Emma Kupa is the most recent addition on bass, having worked with Faith on a number of projects over the past four years.

“brilliantly distinct, wrapping their varying influences in to one rabid burst of lofi indie-rock” Gold Flake Paint

“frighteningly good in a way that most stuff called frighteningly good just isn’t” Everett True, The Friendly Critic

“a bright, fun, sparkly album with raw and to the point lyrics – there’s no hiding from the wit. Check it out; you’ll be hooked” Loud Women

credits

released October 4, 2019

Suggested Friends are Christabel Williams, Emma Kupa, Faith Taylor and Jack McGinn.

Recorded and mixed at Sickroom Studios by Owen Turner.
Mastered by Scott Craggs at Old Colony Studios.

Christabel: drums, percussion, vocals
Emma: bass, percussion, vocals
Faith: guitar, vocals, piano, synth, ukulele, percussion
Jack: guitar, percussion, vocals
with
Owen Turner: trumpet on 'The Apocalypse'
Meghan Butt: wooden toad on 'Turtle Taxi'

All songs written by Suggested Friends.

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Track Name: Imminent
they almost had me there
i almost bought it all
as if i’d manufacture this fiasco
just for inspiration, just to watch it fall.
you aren’t smiling with your eyes
so why say hello at all?
surely by now you’ve read enough online
to figure it out.
and oh my god, that pedestal i’d never reach
and still sometimes i miss the company that you never gave
from A staircase to that beach

if i could stop being invested in your imminent demise
i swear i’d see the sun is on the rise

he took me for a walk
he walked me round the field
told me he wasn’t mad, ‘cause he has found
this nice much younger woman, and so
my fate was sealed.
you told me you didn’t care
said that you were relieved
and i saw through nothing since at twenty-two
there wasn’t much i’d disbelieve.

and jesus christ if i could be the friend i needed then
and take my own advice, instead of years of doubt.
i comprehend

but now i know what love can look like
i won’t self-pathologise
i swear i see the sun is on the rise
Track Name: Cygnets
try as i must, i don’t know what to make of this fluctuating trust
i pass the boats and their rust, i pass the same spot just
watching the cygnets grow up.
turn away from the page and all those digital birds
i was wiser than a year ago, i heard you fell in love with the secret
and although we suffered at the loss of your conscience, i heard it.
another stingray trapped in a fish tank, another little setback
i’ve got you to thank, ‘cause you’ve been resting here lately
with your heart on my lap, and the rest of us laid here with you to thank.
Track Name: The Apocalypse (It's Just A Day Away)
look here’s the sun it rose again, it won again, it won
dew covered shoes, no time to lose, no time to gain, no trust to feign.
i never played away
so just don’t stare at it, and don’t be scared of it,
i’d give you tenderness and you can rise above it
a little later on we might have fled and gone
there’s no more bitterness, i’ll keep the curtains drawn
backed out again and you paint yourself into a corner, i despair.
so please wake the fuck up and admit that as the world burns
you’ll be practicing self-care.
it’s just a day away.
Track Name: G.N.A.
guardian news app, one more round of fear
i’m trapped at the cold stop waiting for the red bus to appear
the scum’s built up, your hull wrecked
the wind’s ripped off the sails
and life’s on auto-correct, but redemption’s always failed

the rent’s too high, this room’s too small
i’m dreaming of a liquid to knock me out cold

you were dreaming of a backyard, i was dreaming of a boat
but i was living alone, kept all the notes she wrote
i guess there never is an ending, never is an ending
but together we can keep afloat

you were dreaming of a backyard
Track Name: At Ease
worlds collide and i’ve got no more knives, i’m going nowhere tonight
said she’d have pulled out my eyes, and it didn’t even take me by surprise
oh my blood runs cold, old senses fall in line
when i used to be so bold, i’m such a mess this time
‘cause it was written in the back seat, you and your turnpike dreams
oh but even in my fantasies, the roles are blurred it seems.
so come on, come on, i don’t need you to wish me well now
when it’s been so long
and i could pray for the rest of my life for civility
don’t know how much that would’ve changed me
can’t say how much that would’ve changed

what good am i, tracing all the contours of the wrongdoing in life?
i should give up more of my time, because it’s unincarcerated time.
i wanna celebrate you, want you to lock me down
i’ll intervene with any bullshit on the overground
‘cause you’re a powerhouse of kindness, you put everyone at ease
and if you love me like you do, maybe there’s not much wrong with me
Track Name: Turtle Taxi
i won’t be leaving at nine, i’ll leave you a note
i’ll leave you a note, i’ll leave on the rind,
i’ll find you a loom, try and buy us some time,
i cut my teeth on this circle
too late to arrive, too gay to drive
i’ll return to you, keep every jar that you want me to
and yes you make me feel like i can rest
cool we’re alive at the same time
i’ll be your honest turtle taxi
i know if anyone attacks me you’re gonna start.
i used to bide my time, and now i spend my time
riding out the azimuth sunshine
i’ll find you some clay, we’ll read ties that bind
i’m still not writing but i don’t mind
i’ll teach til i die, let this all pass by
and i’d return to you, rescue twelve dogs if you want me to
Track Name: Pretty Soon Your Grave Will Be A Landfill
there was something at my ankle in the stream that i couldn’t see
here at a confluence of sorts or so it seemed but i couldn’t see
and the cattails can’t reveal my face, my feet glued to the stony bed of disgrace.
are you sure it’s worth the bother standing in the cold? it bothers me
we’ll all be working til we’re eighty-five years old, that bothers me
‘cause i’m funding your retirement with my tiny monthly wage
and you say you had a house and a car at my age.

suck it up, suck it up, put your best foot forward, leave a mark, come on
talk it out, talk it out, don’t you have any doubt that it’s your own fault
what you’re talking about

the heavens open and the whole sky fills with rain at every angle of the cross
i see the selfishness the lies and all the pain clearer than the cross
there are no good guys and no bad guys in any guise at all
how many bloody hallways til we murder them all?

your flesh will decompose just like the people that you kill
and pretty soon your grave will be a landfill
Track Name: Blooms
you laid here late, sleeping like a silent stone
once in multitudes of colour, now in monochrome
you crept just like a vine, and i left before it wound round mine.
so go on break promises and promises.
prosaic and practiced, i know them like my mother
our endochrines align, the reach and the cost in kind.
but it wasn’t such a distance if you measured in miles,
but i lost a fucking lightyear in those grocery aisles.

so hold my hair back, you could promise me anything
or film me on the bathroom floor, try to ignore everything.
i was only fourteen and pain blooms everywhere,
shackled shadows of an agent, desire blooms everywhere,
desire blooms and so do you, you’re like an aster in the bed
so hold my hair back, lay with me.

mantle and plate, rifts with so much history
but you come like a river, swelled with pride
and with all these apparitions, i’m mortified.
but it wasn’t such a risk then, if you measure in pounds
but i lost a fucking household in those coffee grounds
Track Name: For Jokes
did you get teeth yet, i wonder
are you redeemed yet, i wonder
fine i’ll permit myself to be broken and alone,
love is a labour and i know, i know it wasn’t all for jokes
so many bitter words someone spoke,
not for pain or revenue i’ll come out.
did you cut keys yet for summer
is addiction a disease yet or will you flounder in stasis
and drown in it, oh bloody hell i’ve got the whole menu
it isn’t busy, i’m alone, love is a labour that i know,
i know it wasn’t all for jokes, those were genuine words i spoke,
my lungs full of dust and spite and i’ll show you
i’ll show you, i’ll show
Track Name: Magnolia
i threw it all at the wall so i could see what stuck
just a gallery of gambles and you on the left hand side,
sliding down the magnolia.
i’m not concerned, it’s just a bad light,
i’m not concerned, i’ll never let you blow my cover
i’d never let you end my life, never let you squeeze my hand.
there’s a part of you in every line i land.
how does he do it so brazenly, just a library of let-downs
with one small window inside.
and i haven’t earned it, it’s just a minor slight
i’m not concerned, i’d never let you change my practice
i’d never leave my heart estranged, never let you harm my band
there’s a part of you in every line i land
there’s a part of you in every joke i land
there’s a part of you in each punchline i land