Street-wise East Midlands no wave
Since releasing her debut single ‘No’ early last year, Billy Nomates’ stock has risen considerably. You might well recognise the charismatic, Leicestershire-born singer (real name Tor Maries) from Sleaford Mods’ recent ‘Mork n Mindy’ single, on which she duetted with Jason Williamson, returning the favour after the Mods’ frontman appeared on her self-titled 2020 debut album.
Why Billy Nomates?
Recorded with Geoff Barrow and released on his Invada label, Maries’ album announced her as a real tour de force. Like her pal Williamson, she tells it how it is. With an accent on no wave-ish hues (think an edgier Kae Tempest), Maries rails against broken society, class imbalance and daily life. Backed by sparse, post-punk bass and strident electronics, her songs have an lilting half-melancholy, lifted by a versatile and wilful voice that flits between raw soul, sung/spoken moments and snarling attitude, and peppered with the sort of salty expletives that Williamson would definitely approve of.
Tell us more…
New EP ‘Emergency Telephone’ is a potent four-tracker that ups the ante even further, loaded with propulsive synth riffs and atmospheric samples (rain, the sounds of the sea, a car engine) that give it an occasionally soundtracky feel. Lead single ‘Heels’ marries a resounding thump/crash beat and more pulsing electronics, as Maries sets out her stall in no uncertain terms (“I’ve no duty to be all smiles or nice / I do not do heels”). The EP itself, she says, is predominantly about “communication breakdowns – perhaps we need a direct line”. With critical acclaim still resounding in her ears and momentum behind her, she’s already working on her second album. With sounds this good, you’d be advised to get Billy Nomates on speed dial.
The ‘Emergency Telephone’ EP is out Invada