When we last saw Raf Rundell he was stood in a clearing, dressed in a shaman’s robes with a modern day magik staff raised above his head. Looking like the special guest DJ at a post apocalyptic orbital rave, South London’s finest looked ready to take on all comers. As one half of the 2 Bears and the self-styled Selfie Boy, he was finding his feet as a solo artist – his first mini LP ('The Adventures of Selfie Boy: Part 1') was garnering glowing write-ups in the rock press as well as electronic magazines.
But just after the record was released, the world around him changed forever. Put side by side, the birth of a new child and the rapid rise of a generation of Post Truth politicians don’t appear to have much connection. There’s Question Time and there’s story time; nappies filled and Nigel Farage; the dummy and the Donald. But seen through the eyes of a sleep deprived post-millennial two-time dad, these seemingly separate occurrences knot together into one paranoid, helpless, loving whole called 'Stop Lying'.
One can’t be certain if it’s the age we live in or the age of his youngest that’s most heavily influenced 'Stop Lying' – whichever it is, it’s managed to make something pretty close to a perfectly reflective post millennial pop record. And it’s Raf’s most confident and strident set of songs to date. While it takes its cues from the gloriously eclectic Selfie Boy mini-album, 'Stop Lying' is a huge step on for Raf, a record that’s sonically both supremely confident and brilliantly consistent.
From 'Every Morning’s sunny side up swing to the knock ‘em down swag of 'Ric Flair' via 'Sweet Cheek’s ultra-disco (featuring a full-on house diva vocal from a local boy named Jovis), 'Falling Out's Pet Shop Boys lost on the floor at 'Sink the Pink' and 'In Control’s beatless Blockheads workout, it’s the musical story of modern day London mapped out, where all the worries, stresses and inevitable releases are pumped through a decent pair of headphones. It’s a city where 'Ric Flair’s protagonist needs to make as much money to buy for booze for his kids while across a Cure-in-space lament ('Kinder Nature') a plea is made for a better way of interaction. Less lying, maybe.