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Silent Forum release new album Domestic Majestic today, the follow up to 2019 debut Everything Solved at Once.

Somewhat glamorously splitting their time these days between Cardiff, London, Bristol and Barcelona, Richard Wiggins (vocals), Dario Ordi (guitar), Oli Richards (bass) and Elliot Samphier (drums) have created a glossy, colourful record of wit and infectious melody. It is produced by Charlie Francis.

Richard talks us through Domestic Majesty, song by song.

1.‘Yes Man’ – we’ve all had a psychopath of a boss at some time or other. Your best / worst examples, please. 

You’ll think I made this up, but many years ago, after I’d written some frank and honest, upwards, “confidential” feedback to the person who this song is about, they tried to get their own back by starting a mini investigation to identify who it had come from. Once they were confident it was me, next time we were together, they leaned in, put their hand on my knee and to make me feel bad pretended that their dad’s leg had recently been chopped off.

2. ”Here’s the Email is a bitter tribute of sorts to the ‘hope you’re well…in these strange, troubled times’ platitudes ladled out to workers and pretty much everyone, some four years ago. Platitudes should be made a punishable offence, yes?  

It’s amazing how long winded and detailed some of those platitudes got. I’d say “hope you are well” is fine, but that “in these strange and troubled times” should require the author to take a long hard look in the mirror.

3. ‘Treat Yourself‘ is a sensitive sweet pop song with emotional confession in there too. “Why don’t you treat yourself to a little self love / You matter, you matter so much / You don’t matter, you matter”. How do Silent Forum give themselves an emotional break?

The whole album is about this I suppose, Yoga with Adrienne and long baths. Our bassist Oli is in the middle of training to be a therapist, so I suppose I could just chat to him!!

4. ‘Better with You‘ is such a positive love song. Silent Forum are an uplifting band, would you agree? To what extent does writing about things pissing you off have a cathartic effect? 

I’d agree we tilt towards uplifting nowadays. It wasn’t always the case. Our older songs have titles such as ‘Shame’, ‘Cortisol’, ‘Limbo’. I love those songs but I wouldn’t write quite like that any more. Compare those titles to ‘Cat Pose’, ‘Treat Yourself’, ‘Little Bird’. It’s probably because we’re more settled than we used to be. Maintaining the catharsis without leaning into misery is a hard balance!

I’m taking down potential lyrics all the time, so if something is on my mind a lot – regardless of whether it’s positive or negative it’s likely to end up on a track. It does mean I find myself in situations where someone has upset me, and years after it being resolved I’m still singing about it.

5. ‘Me but not Tired‘ strikes a chord for night worriers. The best solution for such insomnia is…?

Focusing on your breath. Or even better – just getting up and reading for as long as you need until you’re overtired. There’s never enough opportunities to read anyway!

I wrote the lyrics to this song at 2-3am in the morning. Which is probably why they are the shortest set of lyrics I’ve ever written.

6. Hearing ‘Cat Pose’ reinforces the running theme on the record of looking after ourselves on all levels.

There are so many songs about nothing in particular. On this album I wanted to make sure that every song was “about” something and I’ve never heard a song about yoga before – so there you go. 

In my head when I came up with these lyrics I imagined one of those early 2000s dance craze songs like the Cha Cha Slide. I didn’t want us to sound like DJ Casper, I just found it quite funny the idea of there being an impossible to follow dance to go along with a Silent Forum song. That’s where me listing yoga poses came from.

Also, I really did get off the tube and eat a vegetable samosa, then think it was sufficiently important to note down and put into a song.

7. ‘The Grand Burstin Hotel ‘ – what inspired you about a dilapidated ship shaped past its glory days hotel in Folkestone? 

It’s a song about an unlikely friend-holiday to Folkestone. We were being introduced to my friend’s new partner and making a real effort to get to know them. Shortly after they dumped our friend via WhatsApp, days after them meeting their family.

The hotel made a big impression on all of us, it’s an architectural triumph now laying in ruin. There’s got to be so many amazing stories to tell about The Grand Burstin Hotel.

We visited Johnson’s Party Bar while in Folkestone. Online there is a review “5*s, dance with my wife” which I pinched for the lyrics.

8. ‘Petrol Station Flowers‘ is highly atmospheric, eerie and has real romantic charm – but with wit and humour.   

If I’m going to explore a serious sentiment in a song, I always prefer if I can undercut it with a joke. It takes the edge off. 

I was 15 years old when I wrote the lyric “Petrol Station Flowers”, the most unromantic, romantic thing I could think of. 15 years later we put it in a song. It’s pretty common for me to revisit old lyrics, trying to build on them and do something new – I’m quite sentimental and don’t like to let stuff go.

The sheer sonic range of the synths that wrap around this song is insane.

9. ‘U OK?” Not too bad, thanks. It’s a good thing to ask people in our lives, is it not? 

I suppose you are right. In the UK when we ask if U OK? we’re often not actually looking for an answer. It’s more of a comma after the word “hello”. Something we should collectively think about.

10. ‘Little Bird.‘ A glorious way of ending this colourful, many textured album. 

Thank you. It’s the little song that could. We went into the studio with little expectation that we’d even bother recording this one. It was half written and meek but blossomed into something surprisingly beautiful. It references the little bird from Me but not Tired (I told you I revisit lyrics right?)

It’s a good thing that we had Little Bird in our back pockets because our original final track ‘I am sure, I am wrong’ had to be removed from the record on account of sounding too similar to a 90s radio hit that we were blissfully unaware of. We will release that but not on this album…!

Domestic Majesty is released via Libertino Records.

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