Bruce showcases his stunning new sound with a haunting medley, performed live on the XR stage at 180 Studios.
Larry McCarthy, the artist also known as Bruce, joins forces with artist Mooje and stylist Holly Gillman to provide a glimpse of his stunning live show with a medley of three new songs, captured on the XR stage at 180 Studios. Over the course of 2023 the artist has slowly revealed his metamorphosis from intricate club producer to lovelorn pop crooner, having stepped away from club music as the industry collapsed during the pandemic.
The potential of McCarthy’s voice was teased on Timedance compilation Sharpen, Moving highlight ‘Longshot’ and alongside Lurka for their XRA project, but it was after a particularly successful karaoke session in Japan, which led to Visible Cloaks, Mount Kimbie and Alva Noto asking McCarthy why he hadn’t been singing on his tunes, that the artist felt he was ready to take the plunge.
Channeling lockdown cabin fever and what he calls “the complex storm of other people’s emotions” blown up by the complexities of an open relationship, during the first four months of isolation he started writing the songs that would eventually make up the EPs Not and Ready, which together make up the bulk of his second album, Not Ready For Love.
Drawing as much inspiration from tearful Country icons Johnny Cash, Lee Hazelwood and Marty Robbins as legendary pop contortionists David Sylvian, Scott Walker and Björk, McCarthy sheds the precision of his club constructions in favour of ragged emotion, rewiring his production wizardry to coax out more direct expression and fresh clarity from eternal themes of yearning, desire, love and the turbulence and pain that draws in their wake.
On ‘Lasso,’ gauzy blooms of ambience and tactile embellishments of noise swell beneath McCarthy’s breathless, heart-in-throat delivery, swooning through the exquisite pain of watching someone leave when you want them to stay. “A heart wrenching acceptance,” he notes, “for the collapse of a deeply passionate love, that has since grown unrequited.”
“A thankful but sorry farewell,” McCarthy says of ‘Dappled Light,’ “realising, despite the beauty that such a sprouting romance could bring, the love it needs to fully bloom is not yet ready to be given.” Here, he finds mournful brightness in crystalline synthesis, snatches of breaks and pitch-shifting vocals.
Crashing out in a swirl of cacophony and catharsis, ‘Broken’ trips over two-step skip and amorous bellows, what McCarthy calls “a corrupting seduction; to be toyed with and teased, to the point of agony and resentment, that only stokes the flame of lust and longing.”
Not Ready For Love is out now, on Timedance.
Fact Live: Bruce Credits
Written & Performed by Bruce
Art Direction & Animation – Mooje
Stylist – Holly Gillman
Costume Designer – Anna Roggenhofer
Director of Photography – Kamil Dymek
Technical Director – Pawel Ptak
Producer – Henry Bruce-Jones
Filmed live at 180 Studios, for Fact
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