After what feels like an age, London’s Ugly return with defiant new opus ‘I’m Happy You’re Here’.
Presenting their first release since 2019, it appears that this intermittent period spent lurking beneath the surfaces have treated Ugly well. Like reuniting with a school friend years after the Graduation, and witnessing they’ve suddenly grown so buff, so handsome, so strong – (“Wow, don’t you look well!” etc.) – ‘I’m Happy You’re Here’ presents an Ugly reincarnate, rejuvenated, and in glorious new voice.
Tightly-knit, yet set free to scramble, blossom and grow, proffered here is 8 minute odyssey, one which skilfully flirts with psych-folk, post-rock, choral song, and freak-out; trumpeting jazz without committing to any singular mode of being. Gone are the King Krule’isms, the scratchy, high-voltage scrawls that once inked many a London grassroots haunt. In their place lie hymnic, coiling jubilations, touch-tight acoustic resonances, beatific chants cast upwards to the heavenly euphoria firmament above.
Already no stranger to stretching a pop song out to biblical lengths, ‘I’m Happy You’re Here’, launches Ugly up into higher planes of sophisticated existence.
As they themselves say, “it’s good to be back!”.
Issue Thirty-Seven is out now Ft. Porridge Radio, Crows, Folly Group, The Dinner Party, Automatic, Gently Tender, headboy and more. Buy in print here. Read the digital edition below.