Give yourself a moment…

Since the release of their 2018 debut album Kaleidoscope (see TEC review previously), synth-pop outfit The Rude Awakening have been keeping themselves busy, dabbling in the world of remixes – as well as dreaming up new tunes.

The likes of B-Movie, Birmingham Electric, The Livelong June and Peter Godwin have all benefitted from remix duties with the TRA touch. Meanwhile, The Rude Awakening also delivered the bouncy pop of ‘Squeal!’ in 2020. There’s also noise about a covers EP on the horizon.

Consisting of Johnny Normal and Bridget Gray, The Rude Awakening have – like many other musical acts – been affected by the ongoing Covid crisis. Not only has the pandemic crippled electronic music’s vital live scene, but the stressful environment that’s a result of the necessary lockdown measures has also impacted musicians of every stripe.

“When many of us feel we have hit rock bottom or are struggling to deal with life around us” comments Johnny Normal, “we can sometimes compound our own pain and mental pressure by deliberately hiding the fact we are not coping from people we love. But it’s actually OK to admit that we are not OK.”

The end result of this musing on the human condition is ‘It’s OK Not to Be OK’, a slice of fragile electronic pop that drives its message home with a gentle push, rather than a punch. Squelchy synths and breathy vocals weave together in an airy tune that has an oddly meditative effect. It also comes complete with a charming animated video.

Although the themes of the song deal with stress and anxiety, the lyrics still find time to throw in some witty commentary to take your mind off things (“Sticking your head in a birthday cake/Wobbly crappy poetry took ages to make”).

As the duo’s ethos involves creating songs that “explore emotions, relationships, taboos fantasies and fears”, the themes at work on ‘It’s OK Not to Be OK’ seem to slot in comfortably.

This release is also the first of a two-stage effort which will be followed by an EP of six additional remixes by People Theatre, Mr Strange, Tin Gun, Parralox, Lord & Master and Keldari Station.

‘It’s OK Not to Be OK’ is out now on the AbNormal label.