Psapp have been perfecting their art of highs and lows and all the fun in between for six years now. After a few low-key releases they unleashed their debut Tiger My Friend on cult label Arable before graduating to Domino to release their second long player, The Only Thing I Ever Wanted. This was the album that caused all the fun and games – its blend of homemade electronics, meticulously scored elastic bands and heartfelt pop struck a chord with all who heard it because it was life changing in the most marvellous and thrilling way. But when your musical dreams are being fulfilled, when you tour the world, when you can give up your job and hear your music trickling out of cinemas or the telly it can be pretty strange.
This all happened to Psapp.
With everything the pair turn their hand to, they never quite know when to stop. So when joyous hysteria and an unending party resulted in equally huge comedowns they were left exhausted, confused and a little broken by it all. Slowly though, Galia and Carim returned to what they knew was true and magic, and away from the dizziness of life they retreated to their studio to start making sense of all that had happened. The result is their most starkly beautiful album to date -The Camel's Back.
In it you will find an array of monsters, ants and heartbreak, philosophy and folly all wrapped up in glorious production, odd noises and a heightened sense of purpose. There is a real sense of triumph over adversity and whisper it… maturity… about proceedings. Album opener "I Want That" showcases this development, bursting with enthusiasm and brassy squawks while "The Monster Song" is a hugely catchy pop number, life affirming and vast - if Psapp was a Sunday afternoon film this would be the moment when the sun came out and everyone danced in glorious Technicolor. But try listening to "Screws" or title track "The Camel’s Back" without getting swept up in an intimacy that is almost claustrophobic in its honesty. The band has a song called "Somewhere There Is A Record Of Our Actions." This sentiment may be true, but it is doubtful that all of them would be as beautiful and insightful as the one left by Psapp.
PSAPP "FACT" SHEET (One is a fib)
• Psapp is Galia Durant and Carim Clasmann.
• Psapp is pronounced “Psapp.”
• Psapp have released three albums, Tiger My Friend, The Only Thing I Ever Wanted and now The Camel’s Back.
• Carim is a self-confessed studio geek and has worked in Can’s Inner Space studio and with Einsturzende Neubauten and Die Toten Hosen. He also has the best pair of ears in London which means people like Voice Of The Seven Woods go to him to master their album.
• Galia is very crafty, and this is why she runs Craft Night where people can go and make things, listen to brilliant bands and enjoy her Dad rapping.
• Psapp have exhibited their illustrations in both Paris and London and do all their own artwork - they’ve even designed a t-shirt for Airside but still have trouble drawing a decent camel.
• Carim cannot play the recorder, but he is pretty good on the Oud.
• Psapp own a unicorn called Roderick, it likes cheese.
• Psapp have released music on Leaf, Tomlab, Melodic, Arable, Gronland, Wiaiwya, Rallye and Domino.
• Psapp have posed topless in Paris.
• Psapp have fallen apart and put themselves together again several times.
• Psapp have supported Deerhoof in London and toured North America with Jose Gonzales and Juana Molina. They have also played at Pukkelpop, The Big Chill, The Electric Picnic, Summer Sundae and lots of other places big and small, from Brixton Academy to a disused wood factory in Germany.
• Psapp contributed to David Shrigley’s Worried Noodles compilation and played live at its launch.
• The video for the single “Hi” was nominated for an MTV Woody.
• Psapp have been awarded three BMI awards for their theme music for "Grey’s Anatomy." They keep them in the toilet.
• Galia can be very silly and Carim can be very wise, but sometimes it’s the other way round.
• Psapp have, amongst others, remixed Astrud Gilberto and Pram.
• Psapp’s instrument collection now fills two rooms and includes water pipes, a family of Casios and Bontempi organs, several egg slicers and is home to Brunhilde the famous mechanical chicken.