If, like me, you’d rather attend a Songs Of Praise service in Hull than a sip-your-chardonnay-in-silence-or-get-out amateur acoustic night, you might well appreciate the anti-folk stylings of Naomi Hates Humans (aka Naomi Scott).
On her debut album, Pipe Dreams And Lullabies, Scott goes out of her way to avoid the usual singer/songwriter clichés. In place of sappy love odes and break-up songs, she tackles the issues that infiltrate her day to day life – the crush of the big city (‘Small Town Kids’), self-castigating paeans to alcoholism (‘Drunk Dickhead Strikes Again’), personal loss (‘My Grandmother’s Hands’) and the fear of growing old (the title track).
While the songs themselves aren’t overly verbose, the lyrics do tend to overshadow the spare, rudimentary music, giving it a slightly perfunctory feel. Her coarse, gravelly voice lends a little weight to the unfolding scenarios she concocts, but offers too little light to offset the dark, eventually wearing out its welcome.
How much you’ll get on with this record depends on how much you enjoy trawling through the reality of your everyday torment – or indeed someone else’s. Naomi Hates Humans offers no particular answers to her predicament, although it is one most of us could identify with. If she can find some spark of hope to infiltrate the bleakness, Pipe Dreams… could be the start of something interesting.
5Tom Edwards's Score