Technology + Teamwork, the duo comprising Sarah Jones and Anthony Silvester, are set to release We Used To Be Friends; their long-awaited debut album, this Friday (17th March) on Good Way Records.
Today, they share the album’s final pre-release single “You Saw Something In Me”, a song written when experimenting with vocal effects units in a dangerously mouldy rehearsal room many, many moons ago.
"We use to rent this basement under a carpet shop in Dalston, shared with a metal band and a house DJ. It had seriously bad black mould everywhere. We did our best to do the place up, but the metal band insisted we still called it the Doom Room, and to be fair the name worked.
"After rehearsing there all your clothes would stink of mould. The prepay electric meter for the basement was shared with the landlord above us in the carpet shop, and if the power went, the lights would turn off and you'd run outside quick so he didn't make you put any money in the meter.
"We wrote "You Saw Something In Me" in this room. We'd just bought these vocal effect units that pitched our voices down. We found it hilarious. Every time I sang "oh baby" Sarah would start laughing, so I kept doing it.
“The song's about that rush you get when someone believes in you, and that's how I felt in that basement, just the two of us, making each other laugh." - Anthony Silvester on “You Saw Something In Me”
About Technology + Teamwork
Anthony Silvester and Sarah Jones first collaborated as part of biting post-punk five-piece XX Teens in 2008, eventually breaking off to forge their own path together even as the latter’s demand as a drummer grew. Performing with everyone from Hot Chip, Harry Styles and Bloc Party (among many others), Jones has been a constant percussive presence across the sphere of alternative UK pop music – she’s also found time for her own solo project Pillow Person and played on records by the likes of Puscifer and Kurt Vile.
Silvester meanwhile has performed in art galleries across Europe including: Fridericianum in Kassel, Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne, and Vleeshal in Middelburg, as well as providing sound design and composing work for several art films.
Technology + Teamwork is the constant throughout all of that though. “Technology + Teamwork's name perfectly describes how we work,” Silvester explains. “Sometimes the teamwork is between each other and sometimes it’s between us and the technology.”
“The (Don) ‘Buchlian’ ideas of music having randomness and uncertainty, completely freed us up” Silvester explains. “It felt a bit like having more members in the band, machines that didn't do what you expected or intended.”
Perhaps more subtly, is the influence of 17th and 18th century Baroque music, with Silvester drawing a line between it and the 90’s R’n’B that he and Jones both love – exemplified perhaps best on "K+B"’s percussive claps and sultry grooves. The title track, meanwhile, alludes specifically to Handel’s "Sarabande". It’s typical of an album that only needs a scratch of its seemingly glossy surface to unearth a myriad of contorted touchstones and reference points that’ve fermented beneath it.
Thematically there’s an anxious sense to the record, with tracks often balancing above a quiet sense of unerring tension even at their most bombastic. Those clouds offer a counter point to We Used To Be Friends, but then isn’t that what great pop albums do? Technology + Teamwork undoubtedly love the craft of the hook and the song, but they always position themselves left of centre, prepared to scuff things up, pull something out of shape or manipulate something to leave it sounding warped. Much like their friendship, nothing here is particularly linear – and it’s all the better for it.
release on March 17, 2023
via Technology + Teamwork
release on January 16, 2023
via Good Way Records