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One True Pairing - Self Titled
Tom Fleming, former Wild Beasts songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist is back with a new project, One True Pairing. This idea and the expanding themes - male identity, class, taste - are the cornerstones of One True Pairing. "I wanted to write about the real world, I didn't want it to be an artistic, poised, tasteful record," says Tom Fleming of his first solo album, released under the name One True Pairing; "I wanted this to be a rock album, a protest vote against the field of good taste. One True Pairing is a name taken from internet fan fiction, where you write the perfect relationship you always wished existed. The idea of Prince Charming and Helpless Princess living happily after is no fun at all." The former Wild Beasts songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist is back with a self-titled debut that's shaped by class frustration and self-despair. In it's 11 songs of discordant guitar and aggressive synth Fleming channels his discontent with Britain in 2019 and a "feeling of directionless rage and cheatedness which hasn't gone away." His musical touchstones were Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Tom Petty and Def Leppard - "big rock songs, but as it went on it started to be Depeche Mode and noisier stuff, along with Swans and Bonnie Prince Billy and the kids making hip hop, using a kick drum, a high hat and that's it - it's production, it's electronic music, but it's as small as you can make it." This seething blend of difficult emotions is explored in One True Pairing's palette of taut and clipped guitar that flickers between New Wave and even at times 80s MOR titans Dire Straits, looming synths, trickling melodies. Above it all Fleming's voice, ranging from haunting despair to croon like a Yorkshire Scott Walker, is at it's best of his career, giving life to "the angry northern Springsteen record that I'd always wanted to make." He says that "I want to be obvious in what I'm saying - it's neo-heartland rock".