Brighton (UK)’s LibraLibra has become a staple within the queer punk music scene. They gained even more traction within their fanbase during COVID by playing four consecutive Saturday night live shows at the Dome, which highlighted new and emerging artists. Fervent and magnetic on stage, they raised their voices and used it to address sexism and trauma in their latest work. The DIY punk artists snipped tethers with their EP, Cut.
LibraLibra was formed when all the members met through the Brighton gig circuit; they were all playing in different post-Rock groups at the time. “When the band started we all wanted to do something entirely different to our previous projects,” explains frontperson Beth Cannon (she/they). They snagged the keys for an old church in Beth’s childhood village for the week and had mics, a laptop and recording gear shipped in. There, LibraLibra was conceived.
“We do everything in-house,” says Beth. “We initially try to go away somewhere for a week or two, to lock ourselves away to complete the writing and lay down and track all the live drums and bass. This time round we heard about an incredible residential studio on a farm. Joe [LibraLibra’s percussionist/producer] had been there previously recording Jazz musician Miles Splisbury (The Physics House Band) who coincidentally is featuring on our new EP, playing saxophone on various tracks, including a beautiful sax solo at the end of ‘Mother’s Ruin’!”
Kicking off the EP with ‘Brainbeast’, the visceral vocalizations and chaotic synth-punk aesthetics command and dominate the space. ‘Hydra’ and ‘SADFACE’ keep up the aggressive pace, but the tone shifts and slows for the album single. It allows Beth to be vulnerable and face past injustices, and she becomes her own hero. Beth explains the inspiration behind the track. “‘Mother’s Ruin’ was truly cathartic in helping me heal from past traumas I am still unraveling. I feel like I was speaking to my 15-year-old self. The year when I lost all control & power over my body & as a means to survive I transcended above my body & bones & began floating up in clouds, watching life in slow motion.”
The album closer, ‘End Scene’, strips down the talent to the core and highlights Beth’s voice which is drenched in vibrato. It truly differs from the EP introduction, as if the anger had burned down its wick and flickered out, and is replaced by a rain cloud of emotion.
Album-wide, Beth’s vocals largely remain loud and punchy, but she accents it with tender and girlish stylization as she drives home feminist rage but also allows the space to be cathartic for past traumas. She knows how to grab a collar by the fistful, but also how to gently grasp a hand.
Buy the EP here:
7 / 10