Premiere: Practice Debuts “Failure of Imagination” and “I Don’t Need Love | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, January 26th, 2022  

Premiere: Practice Debuts “Failure of Imagination” and “I Don’t Need Love”

Not a Game Due Out February 19

Jan 14, 2021 Photography by Guy Eppel Practice
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Practice, a.k.a. Michael Tapper, has released two new singles, “Failure of Imagination” and “I Don’t Need Love,” premiering with Under the Radar. Tapper is best known for his time as a drummer in the indie rock bands We Are Scientists and Yellow Ostrich. However, following a 28-day sailing trip from Mexico to Hawaii with his brother-in-law, Tapper decided to step away from Yellow Ostrich and began writing his own music. His moniker, “Practice” was born from his daily hours in the studio learning the ins and outs of various synthesizers, as well as Allen Iverson’s infamous “practice” speech. Tapper’s debut record, Not a Game, is a thoroughly DIY affair, with Tapper writing, producing, and mixing the entire album over the course of four years.

Though Tapper spent over a decade of his career in various indie rock projects, Not a Game uses Tapper’s wide collection of analog synths for a deep dive into electronic music. His two new singles show off the exciting diversity of this new approach. “Failure of Imagination” tributes Tapper’s wife over rich synth soundscapes. The layers of synths wash over the listener, gently pulling them listener along on a meditative journey. Meanwhile, “I Don’t Need Love” was written with early Chicago house music in mind, opting for thick bass grooves, dance rhythms, and minimal, distorted vocals. They’re two very different approaches to electronic music, but both work well either in concert and separately. With Practice’s new singles, those hours of synth experimentation pay off in dynamic new creative possibilities.

Tapper explains the stories behind the songs saying,

“Failure of Imagination” is one of the oldest songs on the record, over 10 years in the making. I started writing it in 2008, back when I was first experimenting with writing songs on my own, but like a lot of songs, I started it, got it to a somewhat finished state, and then put it away to start something else.

The story of the song is about meeting my wife and about how I very well might have missed out on this amazing and wonderful person and the beautiful relationship that we’ve had because I wasn’t looking for it and wasn’t ready for it, because I didn’t think it was possible. And that was because I had a failure of imagination. So it’s a song of love and admiration for my wife and also a song of appreciation for good fortune in spite of myself.

“I Don’t Need Love” is the most recently written song on the record, made when I had almost everything else done. So it makes sense that these two songs feel like polar opposites within the context of the record. The idea for the song came from joking around with a friend one night, and I said it would be funny for the chorus of a song to say, “I don’t need love,” and then at the end of it say, “I just need likes.” She said I should write that song, so the next day I did. Will the joke hold up? Only time will tell.

Check out “Failure of Imagination” and “I Don’t Need Love” below and watch for Not a Game coming February 19.

Practice · I Don’t Need Love / Failure of Imagination


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