• The Vibe

Mock Deer follows up his 2020 debut The Art of Loneliness this Spring with a new standalone single

Trapped in London by a global pandemic and unable to fulfil the touring schedule booked to promote debut album The Art of Loneliness, a return to the studio seemed the only way to maintain hard-won momentum for Mock Deer (the album followed a 4-year creative hiatus). The result – a deeply reflective 3.5 minutes of melancholic alt-rock – showcases the expansive style of a mature Mock Deer.

Where early releases followed perhaps more expected stylistic paths in Americana and alt-folk, the album – and this new single in particular – attest to an artist not only familiar with their medium but steeped in its literature. Subtly layered with electronics and samples, the textures of the song remind us of John Grant or Nick Cave.

Maturity is on the cards lyrically too: “Pass the oils that will rouse my fire within/Hand the key, unlock my stiffening limbs” he sings as he faces the physical changes of ageing through the distorting microscope of confinement and comes up proud. The song invites us to question the increasingly accepted idea that we should never be any less than “okay”.

We feel the weight of elemental forces on both singer and writer, as a vocal that sounds close to defeat at times sings “Cloud formations command the open country, like a master of emotional sensation and a tyrant of disaster”. It isn’t hard to read a parallel with the pandemic that has done its best to lay us all low, but it would be a mistake to assume the subject is so specific. What Mock Deer really hits us with here is the way so many of the things we feel are particular to the now have been with us all along.

Mock Deer (Ricky Damiani) is a musician, singer and songwriter based in South East London. Although much of his life has been spent in Wales and the North of England, he has become an integral part of the independent music scene in London through his work representing and promoting artists in the city and beyond.

He has toured extensively in Europe and has shared the stage with artists such as Brent Cobb, Sam Brookes, Simon Joyner, The Burning Hell, Nadine Khouri and Curtis Eller.

Mock Deer has released 2 EPs and composed original music for film and theatre. His full-length debut, The Art of Loneliness, was recorded with producer and long-time collaborator Scott Fitzgerald and was released in February 2020 to excellent reviews.