I’ve been a fan of Rachel Aggs’ work in quite a few capacities over the years. Her songwriting with Shopping, Sacred Paws, and Trash Kit has injected a unique sensibility into UK post-punk and DIY of late, so it’s nice to see her stepping out on her own for a low-key tape release under the name R.AGGS. Mixing some of the same instincts that drive her other projects while leaving plenty of room to play around with new influences, the songs here pick at a more subdued vision of post-punk and pop. Often roping in less brittle atmospheres, with nods to Soweto guitar lines and slow creeping synths, this isn’t the breathless pogo that I’ve come to expect from her.
Sure, her infectious, rubbery licks still occasionally creep in, but it’s the space she gives these songs that really shines. While there are a dozen moments that could easily warrant picking out, she makes a refreshing shift on “Exuberance.” Docking in with a soft pad of drum kick and hooked on alternating spirals of synth and guitar with a lope of bass pushing us all along, the song is a hazy sunrise peeking out of the dimness. Aggs is grasping quiet contemplation that stands in contrast to some of her more forceful moments and she proves just as adept with restraint as she is with brittle bite. The self-released /TAPE 1// is out now along with a digital version as well.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.