Debris Discs

Synthpopper traces WWII family history


It’s James Eary, holed up in the Peak District, and his new album ‘Post War Plans’ is lavish synthpop with a touching genesis. Eary’s grandfather, Alan Howard, was a Second World War “Desert Rat” serving in Egypt, and the album is inspired by recently unearthed letters written to his worried family back home. “I spent a lot of time with my Grandpa when I was younger, building dens in his office and picking berries from his garden,” says James. “I had a nasty car accident as a child and it was my grandpa who carried me into the hospital, so I kind of hero-worshipped him.”

Why Debris Discs?

Turning intimate wartime missives into shimmering, electronic anthems shouldn’t really work, but it does. “I wanted to approach the album from a cinematic perspective, but was struggling to form a narrative,” explains James. “These letters gave me the dramatic story arc I was missing.” The album’s lynchpin is the heartbreaking ‘Dear Fred’, based on a letter written by Alan to his brother. “I’d like to share what I’ve seen / But it’s been eight days in convalescent camp,” sings James with affecting sensitivity. “Mother says she’s not seen you lately / Please don’t leave her alone…”

Tell Us More…

The album was preceded by an EP, ‘The Empress Way’, and James says the whole project has given him a new-found appreciation for his grandfather’s sacrifices. “The respect is on another level now,” he exclaims. “It was fascinating to see his political mind develop, as he questioned the motives of those in command. After the war he became a big political activist, and those values are ingrained in the family now.”

‘The Empress Way’ EP and ‘Post War Plans’ are released on Analogue Trash

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