Without a doubt amongst London’s most exciting new prospects, HMLTD (You might know them as Happy Meal Ltd. ) blur the lines between musician and art project like no other band has in decades. With an eclectic range of sonic influences, from Talking Heads, to Nick Cave, HMLTD play on an almost brutal clash of genres and styles; ’80s power pop is spliced with heavy, industrial beats and distortion, each of the band’s six members themselves a minute recreation of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, dressed to the nines, white faced in red spandex and blue lipstick.
(Image courtesy of Fumi Nagasaka for Dazed Digital)
The London collective, whose members hail from as far away as Paris and Athens have shared a brand new track, entitled ‘Satan, Luella & I’, which follows the band’s visceral debut single ‘Stained’ and Tarantino-esque glam anthem ‘To the Door’. A triumphant six-minute journey through kaleidoscopic pop, and otherworldly soundscapes, the song could be the group’s most defining moment yet. The track itself unfolds like an enigmatic pop opera, singer Henry Spychalski’s cryptic lyrics a focus point amongst the funk laden instrumentals and prog-like melodies. ‘Satan, Luella & I’ has been released to coincide with the band’s headline tour this Autumn (more below) and is set to be pressed as a limited 7″ vinyl alongside an original B-side, ‘Kinkaku-Ji’ (a surrealist synthpop romp sure to raise many an eyebrow), available at the shows.
HMLTD bring an art-driven approach to both their music and live performances, often spending hours meticulously crafting elaborate stage set ups and props, transforming sold out venues into pop-up art installations for each and every show. Just this year the group transformed London’s Scala into an underwater wonderland using little more than balloons, fishnet and clingfilm. “The fundamental idea behind the live show is that it exploits every sense rather than just the ears,” explains Spychalski, “Even down to how things smell in the room. At one of our shows we filled all the ashtrays with burning hair.”
Now, after a hectic series of dates on the UK and European festival circuit, you’ll have the chance to catch one (or more) of the band’s unforgettable live performances this October as the group set out on a nationwide headline tour, ending with an HUGE date at London’s Electric Ballroom, see the full list of dates below. You can buy tickets here. Listen to ‘Satan, Luella & I’ on Spotify below.
HMLTD October 2017 UK Tour
5, The Magnet, Liverpool (with Pixx)
7, Neighbourhood Festival (Sound Control), Manchester
11, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds (with Pixx)
12, Think Tank? Newcastle
13, Broadcast, Glasgow
14, Hare & Hounds, Birmingham (with Dream Wife)
20, Patterns, Brighton
21, Simple Things Festival, Bristol
24, Electric Ballroom, London
Words by Joe Bulger
Featured image courtesy of Clash Music, photographer unknown