Three years ago today, the London-based band Insecure Men released their eponymous debut album.
After releasing two albums (Insecure Men and Karaoke for One) back to back in 2018 and wading through the subsequent touring, Insecure Men have maintained radio silence. However, rumors that the much-beloved band are due to surface in one form or another continue to buzz round the niches of the internet.
Formed in 2015, Insecure Men is composed chiefly of Saul Adamczewski (Fat White Family, Warmduscher) and Ben Romans-Hopcraft (Childhood, Warmduscher) with sax player Alex White and a rotating array of keyboardists, percussionists, back-up singers and lyricists.
In certain circles, Insecure Men are seen as veritable gods of the London alt scene—or maybe something better than gods, as the fruits of their labor are generally to be had more directly (and can be replayed until the groove wears out on the vinyl, or your Airpods die.) Their music is both soothing and thought-provoking: it makes you pay attention. It wakes you up.
Their Bandcamp bio attempts to explain their complex, layered sound: “Insecure Men…blend together exotica, easy listening, lounge and timeless pop music…”
Karaoke for One (which features a photo of Rasputin on the cover) is a record entirely composed of covers. Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl makes an unforgettably bizarre and touching appearance, in which Adamczewski’s vocals somehow manage to turn the pop ditty into something deeper, a sincere paean to a cold, unreachable lover-–up until the last five seconds, in which he spits out an exasperated, “Fuck!” followed by a hack of phlegm. That’s Insecure Men for ya, keepin’ it real.
Their debut album, Insecure Men, was produced by Sean Lennon, and features original compositions running the gamut between effervescent pop (Subaru Nights and I Don’t Wanna Dance with My Baby) lilting, pseudo-Hawaiian melodies (Heathrow and Ulster) and songs to make the skin crawl (Mekong Glitter and Whitney Houston and I.)
There are many crossovers from Romans-Hopcraft’s highly acclaimed band Childhood in the instrumentation and vocals, and traces of the Fat White Family in the lyrics (often insidious subject matter delivered in dulcet tones that make you forget exactly what story you’re being told.)
During the touring efforts for the album, Insecure Men were quite vocal about their intentions to continue on as a band, going so far as to announce in an interview that they’d already written a third album. Whether or not it will be come to fruition remains to be seen, but we can certainly hope that a release date hovers on the horizon.
Insecure Men have a knack for making the roughest bits of life bearable—or at least, they succeed in provoking us to have a laugh at ourselves, to let go of seriousness and embrace the escapist pleasures of “exotica pop,” with every fibre of our beings.
And God knows, we could all use a bit of escapism right now.
You can find Insecure Men on Bandcamp and Spotify.
Header Photo Credit: Neil Thomson