Today, we’re immensely proud to make our first full-length release on Uncollective Records - and it couldn’t anything more worthy (or moomin-related)
We first met Alexander Sokolow at an open mic affair we were running during our time in the sunny (yet creatively cyclical) climes of Falmouth. Fronting what was then known as Naked Lights, their idiosyncratic recitals of life among supermarket shelves and cheap watering holes struck a chord with an embryonic Uncollective. It was clear that this was a refreshing counterpoint to the pretentious nonchalance that prevailed at the time.
Fast forward through the years to their first appearance at Langaland Festival (2016) to a triumphant return under shiny new moniker Tugboat Captain (2017) and a year of the shows, schemes and questionable fashion obsessions we’ve had the pleasure of sharing with Alex and his nautically endearing sextet.
And now we present dedicated 2 u - the lowercase littered, emotional, ocean-based outburst from The Captain himself. We could review each track one by one, but there’s 16 tracks (plus a lovely cover by GINS) and we’ve got to meet our mum for brunch. By way of introduction, here’s a statement from the artist:
“At the beginning of May I quit drinking and swiftly wrote, recorded and mixed an album in a delirious flurry of musical diarrhoea”
Tugboat Captain share much of our creative ethos - work hard, be nice, occasionally get naked. But as well as irrepressible positivity there’s always been a sadness in their tales of seaside romance and ikea furniture. The debut release from the man variously known as The Captain, that guy outside with the flasher coat and now the groke sees Sokolow build on this bittersweet reputation and assemble a one-man rom-com opera on a Daniel Johnston-esque scale.
We managed to catch the groke on his first live outing since writing the aforementioned ‘musical diarrhoea’. Taking to the stage in an unusually early slot before contemporary nice boy Elliot Brett, the sanguine face of Tugboat Captain seemed apprehensive as he delved into 76 second singalong Favourite Things - one of a few Tugboat songs specially curated to suit his solo semblance.
The Crofters crowd were also treated to some of the most succulent slices of the album; including i’m still in love… (a jingly advert for sobriety), record time (the sound of sorrow on speed) and engine room (a Disney moment of dejection and delour). The self-effacing troubadour also packed in the ‘proverbial banger’ Don’t Want To Wake Up On My Own, a rendition of Car Seat Headrest’s Destroyed By Hippie Powers and a newly formed (and as yet unreleased) ode to oat milk.
All in all, the album stands alone as an irreverently unique but universally relatable chunk of loss and love from a human shaped bag of bones. Although Tugboat Captain are a voluptuous phonic force when fleshing out their glacé pop as a six-piece, there’s something about taking a lustration in this intricate creation (yes, I am a poet) that we know will leave you crying tears into your Weetabix, wondering what this cruel world is all about but knowing that, somehow, it’s all going to be ok.
You can stream the album on Spotify and Soundcloud
If you have firmer morals you can even buy it on Bandcamp, Amazon and iTunes,
and thanks to our mate Jay-Z, you can also find it on Tidal. Also available on other peculiar platforms like Savvn and Pandora.
the groke invites you to “what promises to be the worst album launch of all time. With the blessing of The Joiners Arms (Camberwell) I have at the last minute decided it might be something resembling a good idea to play some of these songs live without the endless thump of my out of time drumming. I will be supporting a Welsh Electro-Pop band and in lieu of having any merchandise or physical copies of this album I will instead be holding a small jumble sale of my assorted personal items.”
You can catch him and his merry band at various locations through the Summer, including: Tugfest (June 19th), Indietracks (July 27th) Mr Wolf's (July 31st), Plymouth Underground (August 1st) and the ‘most esoteric fest in the west’ Langaland Festival (August 4th). You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Bandcamp...
... Whilst more discerning readers can join The Tugboat Captain Fanclub for a mere shilling.
Thank you to Alex (the groke), thank you to Tugboat Captain and thank you to everyone else for your love and fluids. We Are Uncollective and we love you.
Music © Alexander Sokolow
Artwork © Anoushka Sokolow
Photo © Grimshaw Mink
Released by Uncollective Records, 2018. All rights reserved. Invite your Nan.
We pay each author £5 for 500 words (roughly) on something creative - your favourite single, an exhibition you've been to, a new project or anything else you can think of! Feel free to include images. Send your PINT PIECE to email@example.com and we'll choose one per month.