The Truth: Desperate Journalist consist of two girls and two boys who have bonded in the
abandoned wilds of North London. Jo Bevan (vocals), Simon Drowner (bass), Rob Hardy (guitar) and Caz Hellbent (drums) - for 'tis they – have been hauled together by a fearsome instinct for what makes alternative music actually really properly authentically alternative.
They started their journey at the local grunge club night in London on February
23rd 2013. Since those heady, dark days Desperate Journalist have released one EP and two
heroically independent singles and played every other shadowy basement in London Town,
displaying a bold musical vigour and an admirably chaotic sense of coherence along the way.
Now comes the heroically independent debut album, ‘Desperate Journalist’ by Desperate Journalist,
which was recorded almost entirely live in Soho’s Dean Street Studios, jointly produced alongside
Keith TOTP and mixed by the band itself. If that wasn’t organic enough Desperate Journalist
designed their own artwork, get heavily involved in their videos and generally hark back to a time
when an authentic DIY spirit pervaded, like a perfect indie rock storm brewing on the horizon.
Strung out together the eleven album tracks prove that there is something terrifically passionate and
uncontrived about Desperate Journalist: as previous singles 'Cristina', 'Organ' and ‘Happening’
suggested there is towering, glowering joy to be found in the combination of Rob Hardy’s 12-string
guitar sparklings and Jo Bevan’s strident vocals, and they revealed a leftfield band not afraid of giving
their punchy blend of melody and melodrama a great big gothic grapple.
The debut album from Desperate Journalists is a merciful release wherein brooding basslines and bruised melodies underpin songs of vehemence
and menace. “We have in a way a gothic sensibility when it comes to writing songs in that we try to
be as evocative and exciting as possible,” they muse. “But we’re more in tune with the directness of
the punk / indie side of it all (Siouxsie & The Banshees, The Cure), rather than the
full on velvet and lace.”
This much is true: you may well have observed that all the ‘Desperate Journalist’ songs have one
word – and in the extremely minimal case of ‘O’, one letter - titles. It matches the compositions
themselves, which are snappy. Sharp. Sassy. Sussed. And these are the kinds of things which set
Desperate Journalist apart from the maddening masses, because this music is made by people who
intelligently channel the essence of their influences rather than simply wear their t-shirts.
Unsurprisingly Desperate Journalist have already gone down searingly well with real life ex-
desperate journalist Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music. Other laptop-tapping enthusiasts of the Desperate
Journalist sound lurk at Artrocker (“Powerful, melodic and full of emotion.”), Time Out (“Shimmering
post-punk.”) and The Quietus ("Thoroughly ace.").