Doomshakalaka is a new project by Paul Rafferty, former vocalist and bassist for Liverpool indie rock band Hot Club De Paris. Self-titled album, out via Moshi Moshi Records, reveals a glistening collection of indie pearls exploring memory, nostalgia and loss.
On his 30th birthday, Rafferty formed a band called Doomshakalaka in his mind. The name was like 'Boomshakalaka!' (a snippet of in-game commentary from the video game NBA Jam) but with a D, giving a usually celebratory exclamation a paradoxical sense of dread. He set about concocting an album’s worth of songs that embraced this juxtaposed vision:
“I thought it would sound like being sad at a party or maybe it would sound like being invited to a party and feeling good about not going.”
Over the following years, Rafferty worked to fulfil this uncertain vision and wrote hundreds of fragments of music, melodies and lyrics and slowly distilled them down into 10 songs of stirring, nostalgia-tinged indie rock. Influenced by luminaries such as Television, Big Star, Wings-era McCartney, Deerhunter, Pavement and Stephen Malkmus’ solo work, Rafferty divided himself between the roles of writer, performer, engineer, producer and mixer and took about the task of making physical the sounds that had long lived unsatisfied in his head.
“Some of the songs off this record started life in 2011”, Rafferty explains, “but without a band or the capital to record, they waited in the wings until I could beg, borrow or buy the gear to record them exactly how I thought they should be heard”
Doomshakalaka is constructed of chord sequences that conjure longing, sadness, desire and hope in equal measure. With strange and surprising arrangements that avoid the ancient and familiar beaten paths of guitar music, Doomshakalaka seeks to tell Rafferty’s stories in a playful and inventive manner and provide a platform to showcase the album’s central theme of the unfinished business of youth.
Rafferty says “It’s largely a record about remembering moments from my teens and 20s and what those moments mean to me now. I love the texture that ageing brings to an artist’s output. I like the sound of a big hole dug deep.”
One Last Saturday Night
I'll Kill You, Motherfucker
This Is War (And I'm So Bored)
The Lost Homework of Isabella Perez
The Fate of the Hero Montage
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Nominated 'Best Independent Retailer' at the Music Week Awards in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Nominated "Indie Champions" at the 2015 AIM Awards.