From: Leeds, England
Despite a fondness for ghostly masks Leeds hip hop trio Ceiling Demons are a far from scary proposition. Their album, Dual Eyes, released towards the end of last year is an interesting mix of muscular beats, soulful, and occasionally downright strange, samples and orchestral strings. MCs, and identical brothers, Psy and Dan forage the outer extremes of their record collection for inspiration incorporating lines from Joy Division (Mendacity), Kurt Vile (Every Step Is Moving Me Up), and a weird sample from Joanna Newsome (Interlude).
The album starts like a cool episode of Songs of Praise with a keening choir before Psy and Dan jump in to deliver a hip hop sermon about seeking truths and keeping it real. The recurring theme throughout the album is the battle with the demons of drugs and alcohol. "You’re dealing with the demons/The ones who got higher than the ceiling", they rap in Journal; they name their poison in The Dark Wood "Starting on the booze. No excuse, I am confused, but this is the poison that I choose" while the bold Amputated Spirit urges an addict not to give up on this/It’ll be all right if you try and win. The battle is most starkly expressed in Closing The Journal with a couple of lines that could have come out of an Alcoholic Anonymous handbook:
Waging war upon reality; the whiskey and the wine, they are our weaponry.Every weekend we wage war upon our health, ever weekend we wage war upon ourselves.The album's overwhelming sense of darkness and paranoia is leavened by Every Step Is Moving Me Up and the strange pinky and perky, Joanna Newsome on helium vocals of Interlude, By the time you reach the album closer Heartstrings you get a sense of someone who has wrestled with demons and come through with a little help from their friends and family. Heartstrings is the brothers' final message anyone wrestling with their own demons, "Unconditional love lifting you beyond the ceiling, Beyond the demons".
Dual Sides is an assured debut and one that heralds new stars in the UK's hip hop firmament.
Ceiling Demons - Facebook
Lord, I Must Be Strong Now