Showcased earlier this year in the music video section of the Yorkshire Evening Post website, Ceiling Demons are an alternative hip-hop trio from North Yorkshire.
Featuring twin brother MCs Psy and Dan with production by Beat Demon, they have a fondness for spook masks, meaty beats and soulful samples of the type often favoured by RZA of the Wu Tang Clan.
“You’re dealing with the demons/The ones who got higher than the ceiling,” they rap in strong Broad Acres accents over a gorgeous string arrangement in Journal; the gritty Amputated Spirit tackles the death of the soul through alcohol and narcotics, urging: “Don’t give up on this/It’ll be all right if you try and win”.
Closing the Journal returns to the theme, observing pithily: “Every weekend we wage war upon our health, ever weekend we wage war upon ourselves.”
Interlude speeds up a Joanna Newsom sample to make her sound even more helium-voiced than the original; darkness and paranoia cloud The Mirror’s Image, with the brothers uncomfortably noting: “You’ve unleashed the monster”.
The Dark Wood offers a glimmer of hope (“Back and forth over the the line that sanity tries to provide”), a sentiment that grows in strength by the ballad Someone Great (“You know, you put a smile on my face/Begin to paint the world you want to create”).
By closing track Heartstrings, with its keening violins, they’ve left the shadows behind: “This life is about learning, sometimes, hurting, sometimes loving/Live and give to every single person.”
For those of a delicate disposition, be warned, Dual Sides is sweary, but it’s also an astonishingly assured debut album.
It’ll be available from the Ceiling Demons’ Bandcamp page http://ceilingdemons.bandcamp.com/ from December 18 and from iTunes and Amazon.