Limited LP : 'High Street Exclusive' Blue Vinyl
Every track has one if not two guests, who, though underpinned by Mike’s distinctive lyrical flair, usually perform atop a genre or sound not previously explored within the realm of The Streets.
The inclusion of, say, Mercury Prize nominated punk group IDLES (who perform what Mike describes as a sea-shanty tinged track inspired by an overnight ferry to Dover) and teenage wünderkind Jimothy Lacoste help ground things firmly in the here and now. But there are familiar faces of the past too. Birmingham legend, Dapz On The Map, pops up on merky rap track “Phone Is Always In My Hand”. While Rob Harvey, previously of The Music and Skinner collaboration The D.O.T, tunes into pensieve penultimate track “Conspiracy Theory Freestyle”.
Couched in those UK and Euro wide experiences with TONGA, this results in tales of hardly partying, but partying hard. The path to excess. The morning trying to climb in under the curtains as you’re busy putting the world to rights. Like anything that happens between the nightclub and the bus home, there’s as much connection as disconnection in this world; as many new relationships forged as there are trails left behind from the ghosts of previous companionships past.
Communication, or lack thereof, plays a huge part in this present-day experience. “One thing I’ve ended up doing is talking about being on my phone,” says Mike. “It was very easy on my first album to say, well: where am I? I’m in a pub. I’m at home. I’m in a betting shop. I’m getting a kebab. It felt fairly straightforward and no one had really written about it. Whereas when making this record, everything now basically happens on your phone.”
These dual themes of nightclub and connection land the record in the simple yet eternally complicated prism of human interaction. “You’re ignoring me but you’re watching my stories”, on “Phone Is Always In My Hand”, is a black comedy mantra of our times. Same goes for “every girl has a dude in her inbox talking to himself” on the Oscar #WorldPeace featuring “The Poison I Take Hoping You Will Suffer”. References abound to missed calls (on opening track “Waiting For It To Stop”, Kevin Parker sings, trance like, about neglecting to call someone back) and “five minute” journeys (the kind where you lie about leaving the house).
Despite its humble mixtape beginnings, None Of Us Are Getting Out Of This Life Alive is a precise and very human body of work from a modern UK music pioneer. Emotionally poignant, full of one liners, club ready. More than anything, it’s exciting – a call back to those fun and responsibility free evenings at TONGA. Yet “the result is much more than I thought it would be. It’s become a real album,” says Mike. And so, as the new decade begins, so too does a new era for The Streets...
1. CALL MY PHONE THINKING I’M DOING NOTHING BETTER (FT. TAME IMPALA)
2. NONE OF US ARE GETTING OUT OF THIS LIFE ALIVE (FT. IDLES)
3. I WISH YOU LOVED YOU AS MUCH AS YOU LOVE HIM (FT. DONAE’O & GREENTEA PENG)
4. YOU CAN’T AFFORD ME (FT. MS BANKS)
5. I KNOW SOMETHING YOU DID (FT. ELIZA & JESSE JAMES SOLOMON)
6. ESKIMO ICE (FT. KASIEN)
7. PHONE IS ALWAYS IN MY HAND (FT. DAPZ ON THE MAP)
8. THE POISON I TAKE HOPING YOU WILL SUFFER (FT. OSCAR #WORLDPEACE)
9. SAME DIRECTION (FT. JIMOTHY LACOSTE)
10. FALLING DOWN (FT. HAK BAKER)
11. CONSPIRACY THEORY FREESTYLE (FT. ROB HARVEY)
12. TAKE ME AS I AM (WITH CHRIS LORENZO)