Premiere: Living Body Shares New Single “NO DEBT” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Premiere: Living Body Shares New Single “NO DEBT”

Watch the “NO DEBT” Live Session Video Below

Oct 31, 2023
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Living Body are a Leeds-based musical collective led by songwriter Jeff T. Smith (f.k.a. Juffage). These days, the band are touring as a five-piece with two drummers, with Smith joined by Alice Rowan, Sarah Statham, Annie Prior, and Matt Simpson. Together, Smith and company have honed a polymathic style of indie music, warping and inverting pop melodies while incorporating elements of math rock, shoegaze, synth pop, and art rock.

The band returned most recently this year with a new single, “CONSUMER.” Today, ahead of some upcoming fall tour dates, they’re following that track with another new single, “NO DEBT,” premiering with Under the Radar.

In the most direct sense, the track is about the US’s recent campaign to forgive student debt, but it also reflects on the broader failures of privatization and the perverse incentives the US debt system has created. Smith sings, “Strong arms will rough you up / Tear out both my eyes / Where did you sign? / It’s disguised as a hazy compromise / Paycheck to paycheck / Nickel and dimed / And with no space left to be organised / So you’re through getting yourself to college / Funny you replied, ‘google it.’”

However, despite the heady subject matter, the band strikes a careful balance between ambition and accessibility, knitting an infectious element within the track’s driving guitars and knotted dual rhythms. Smith crafts a deft dance of interlocking instrumentation, with each element weaving in and out of the track. Meanwhile, backing vocals from Chrissy Barnacle (Come Outside) and Jamie Lockhart (Mi Mye), as well as a flugelhorn section from Emily Ingham (Mi Mye), add bursts of color to the track’s edges. The accompanying live video captures this chemistry in action, with each band member playing off of each other effortlessly.

Smith says of the song’s inspirations, “The commodification of education creates schisms whereby capitalism deems certain types of learning as more valuable, while others are told by the UK prime minister to ‘retrain or find other jobs.’ Whether it be neuroscience, engineering, queer theory or 17th century textiles, there is inherent value in expanding the overall breadth and scope of human knowledge. Much in the way that no one should be in debt for receiving health care, no one should be in debt for learning something, anything!”

He continues, saying of the track’s closing line (“funny, you replied, ‘Google it’”), “On one hand, who really needs a university education when you can find the answer to anything on a screen in your pocket? But should we really place our entire basis for truth in the hands of one large profit-driven corporation? Ultimately, this poses quite serious future concerns surrounding our relationship to truth, facts, deepfakes, AI, and corporate power.”

Check out the song and video below, along with the dates for Living Body’s upcoming live shows.

Living Body Tour Dates:

November 1: Brighton - the Prince Albert (w/ Perch)
November 2: London - New Cross Inn (w/ Rubie & Winifer Odd)
November 3: Birmingham - the Victoria (w/ Overcliff)
November 4: Bristol - the Exchange (w/ Lifter)
November 16: Newcastle - Cumberland Arms (w/ Waves of Dread, Madeleine Smyth)
November 17: Glasgow - Glad Cafe (w/ Come Outside)
November 22: Salford - the Eagle Inn (w/ Real Terms, Oort Clod)
November 23: Liverpool - Kazimier Stockroom (w/ Real Terms)
November 24: Nottingham - JT Soar (w/ Real Terms, Kaliugah)
November 25: Leeds - Wharf Chambers (w/ Real Terms, Jooloosooboo)

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