Combining PC music, choppy guitar lines and dance beats, «One Foot On The Ladder» is a lo-fi DIY electro record full of political statements.
Ripley (32) has previously found critical acclaim with the satirical Like A Sturgeon show which was a sell out at Edinburgh Fringe 2018, garnered praise from The Guardian and London’s gay press, becoming a staple of London’s iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern. «One Foot On The Ladder» marks a change in direction for the performance artist who is channeling their creativity into original music.
The self-produced six track EP, recorded in 2019 and 2020 in Ripley’s home studios in Edinburgh and London, takes sonic inspiration from Scottish dance band Finitribe, Mirwais Ahmadzaï and the work of singer Annie and Richard X.
The EP begins with «Fake News», a genre-bending take on post-truth society that merges PC pop sounds with scattered acoustic guitars and a playground chant that takes aim at Rupert Murdoch, the Daily Mail and Donald Trump.
Controversial political figures such as Nigel Farage and Enoch Powell appear in songs «Milkshake» and «How Do You Sleep At Night?» Milkshake, a frothy guitar track inspired by the moment Farage was soaked by an activist, carries an anti-racism message while the icy dance track «How Do You Sleep At Night?», sneers at the Eton elite and their desperate attempts to climb the political and corporate ladder.
On the wobbly Depeche Mode-esque «They Know What You Want», Ripley ponders just how much of our personal information we’ve handed over to internet giants Facebook, Amazon and Google, singing: «hey have all your data you can’t get it back, look over your shoulder you’re now being tracked».
«Let The Party Die» with its marimba hook and glitchy drum machines imagines the conversations had by party leaders as they desperately try to cling on to power. «We’ll fix the next election, we can never ever, ever fall», sings Ripley from the point of view of a tinpot dictator.
EP closer «Pause», written three months into lockdown, explores our relationship with consumerism and work-life balance. Ripley says of Pause: «I was desperate to find a positive in the whole situation. I was really down and incredibly lonely. There was nothing I could do about what was happening. But I figured that putting everything on hold for a while could lead to greater change for all of us. We might all start to think more locally again, and rather than spend every waking hour on work, start to focus on the things in life that make us happy. Although with the Tories in power that seems kinda impossible, but a girl can dream!».
«One Foot On The Ladder» is released 30 October 2020 and will be available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and Tidal.
Pre-save «One Foot On The Ladder» here.