Gaspar Narby’s recent single ‘Death & Other Things’ saw him evolve from ethereal electronica to an introspective singer-songwriter style. That progression resulted in him earning two key tastemaker profiles – The Line of Best Fit’s On The Rise and Wonderland’s New Noise and now he builds towards the release of his new EP, out early in 2022 via Everybody’s Records. He heightens anticipation for a big year ahead by sharing his brand new single ‘So Bored’, along with its official video.
Instantly commanding an audience’s attention with a song’s opening line is no easy feat. But it’s something that Gaspar achieves as he gently sings, “Honey I’m so bored, we should rob a bank, and when the cops arrive say it’s a YouTube prank.”Playing with other acts of risky rebellion, this paean to the ennui of young adulthood still dreams of a bigger future, one in which “love will still be painless and we’ll finally be famous.”
The song’s production is at first deceptively low-key, but it soon grows in stature from unhurried acoustic guitar to swirling vocal harmonies and simple handclaps. The more you hear it, the more you notice its intricate details: bird song in the backing of the introduction, the warmth of the tape hiss, and the spoken line “I don’t wanna talk about it” hidden deep within the mix. In essence, it finds Gaspar deploying the unorthodox production touches of his previous work in a genre where such ideas are far less prevalent.
The ‘So Bored’ video is just as engaging as the song. Its grainy 16mm film and bright aesthetic gives it an immediately nostalgic quality. Between its accusatory props, some surreal locations, and a diet of pills for breakfast, it finds a way to vibrantly visualise the song’s directionless theme. The video was crafted with the help of a handful of Gaspar’s creative friends.
Gaspar says, “The opening line ‘Honey I’m so bored, we should rob a bank, and when the cops arrive say it’s a YouTube prank’ is such a stupid idea, and perhaps one of my favourite lyric on the EP. The narrator seems to be asking for trouble. I don’t really know whether he’s desperate, needs to be seen or he’s actually genuinely bored. Maybe a bit of all this.
My partner Lena Vallat, who is the artistic director for this project, found such creative ways of conveying the absurdity and sense of meaninglessness in the lyrics. With the help of production designer Elaine Xu, we created seven different sets, from an empty swimming pool where I try to swim, to a bathroom where I try to fish. We shot all this in my hometown in Switzerland, and people were outstandingly helpful. A local school gave us access to their pool, a friend of a friend let us use his 1979 car, and a childhood friend printed custom packs of cereals reading ‘YOU FAT’ for us.
Theo Le Sourd, the director, made all this a reality. The grain of the 16mm film added such a dreaminess to the video, and it also made the shoot much more thoughtful, as we had to decide what to shoot precisely beforehand.”
Watch the video for ‘So Bored’ – BELOW:
Like ‘Death & Other Things’, both ‘So Bored’ and the upcoming EP – his fourth – were written, recorded, and produced and mixed entirely by Gaspar in his home studio in Brockley, London. The tracks were then mastered by Jeremy Cooper at Soundtrap. It represents the first time Gaspar has pushed his vocals to the foreground of the mix, an approach that makes his themes of anxiety, fear and self-doubt all the more relatable.
Since debuting with ‘Home’ in 2017, Gaspar Narby has never repeated the same idea twice. It’s something which can be heard throughout each of his EPs to date. 2018’s ‘A Stare Makes Two’ simultaneously possessed free-wheeling experimentation, the warmth of live instrumentation, and an influence from his then-new home city of London. ‘Transatlantic’ then embraced the lo-fi ethos, as he recorded a solitary and introspective set of tracks primarily on cassette. The subsequent ‘Collab’ EP was the polar opposite, with all four songs the result of collaborations that delivered a broader pop edge.