Well, what a tease Private Reg is eh? Following the swingy, choppy bright debut single No Brighter Sunrise, the sound of the second single release from the solo project of Leeds based James Vardy could hardly be more different. OK, perhaps it could have been drill trap or formal opera or something, but you get what I mean.
The understated, low-fi, shoe-gazey Flowers, In My Head might be less immediate compared to No Brighter Sunrise, but it remains a huge powerhouse packed into its scant 130 second frame. There’s a delicious rolling gentle fuzzy tune which earworms into your brain after a while. The song was produced with assistance from brother Jono Vardy on bass (a fellow Alpaca Factory band member), James Cleaver on drums and backing vox from Bethan Evans.
In terms of feel, I’m thinking that fans of the likes of an introverted Metronomy would vibe with Private Reg, and it also has a feel as an extension for last summer’s solo project from The Levis’ Max Stokes in Sixties Night Club where Private Reg did some work with Max.
What is similar to No Brighter Sunshine, is the keen observation in the lyric. I love puzzling out song meanings as they help reinforce our shared experiences that we can all relate to. Here Private Reg tells me the lyric was originally about someone who would act completely irresponsibly because of privilege, and sort of not care because they think it won’t affect them. That explains the slightly sinister theme of ‘you won’t be laughing when you’re dead’. There’s an interesting power dynamic at the heart of this track.
For those into wheedling out meaning from a song, there are exciting things to come for the forthcoming Private Reg EP, with song themes which all derive from a core concept.
* images taken from Private Reg’s social media