‘Mangled Pianos’ by Bob Holroyd, new on Real World X

The first of three planned two-track digital singles from Bob Holroyd ‘Mangled Pianos’ / ‘Steal’ is released today on Real World X.

These insistent, quietly rhythmical and predominantly ambient pieces are explorations in marking time, of waiting and reflecting. Echoes of being in the moment, even when you don’t know what that moment actually is. Of fluctuating emotions: anxiety, resignation and defiance! But, also, positivity and an increased appreciation of the things closest to us that we often overlook.

The lead track ‘Mangled Pianos’ sets the tone for all the pieces that follow. Multiple similar piano lines laid on top of each other, each one played without listening to the previous part. Some takes time stretched, others at normal speed, create a repetitive but varying series of layers, sometimes working together in harmony, sometimes feeling discordant. At times calm and meditative, but also anxious and uncertain.

“The idea was to create an aural representation of the feeling I had during lockdown,” says Holroyd, “which was a time where I was doing the same, or very similar things, every day, without much variation or structure.”

Bob Holroyd 'Mangled Pianos'
I had nothing else to do, and no excuse to stop me spending all day writing and recording, however, this became a huge pressure in itself. I felt that I should be getting on with stuff, but felt really uninspired. Also, the shows that I had planned, and the momentum around them, had to stop, so I felt very flat and disillusioned. Then, I think, by not trying, ideas started coming back. Bob Holroyd

On this first single, ‘Mangled Pianos’ is paired with an urgent counterpoint in the track ‘Steal’. While still tinted with melancholia, ‘Steal’ is a pulsing, reverberating burst of energy, a release valve against the frustrations of all those nights-out lost and shared experiences missed.


Mangled Pianos is out now on all digital platforms.

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By Online Editor

Published on Fri, 23 July 21

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