After releasing a self-titled debut album a few months into the global pandemic of 2020, the Emergency Telephone EP in December of that year and then featuring on Sleaford Mods’ latest album, the English singer-songwriter Tor Maries, AKA Billy Nomates was back last month with her sophomore album, CACTI, again on Geoff Barrow’s (Portishead, Beak) record label, Invada Records.
Compared to the first record, which tackled themes such as the 9 to 5 routine in an increasingly bleak capitalist world, helplessness in the face of the climate crisis or class separation in a witty, although often cynical way, the lyrics on CACTI expose hitherto unknown facets of the singer.
”Balance is Gone,” ”Black Curtains in the Bag,” ”Blue Bones (Deathwish),” ”Saboteur Forcefield,” and ”Apathy is Wild,” in short, practically the whole album speaks openly (and without embarrassment or shame) about the growing fragility of the millennial generation’s mental health. A sensitive subject which is reflected very well in the music which is more calm and melancholy, and definitely more mature than on the first opus.
I can clearly see a curve of evolution in the journey of Billy Nomates, who still hasn’t managed to make me lose interest thanks to her unbelievably relatable lyrics and the catchy tunes that I find myself constantly whistling every day. Here’s to hoping this curve keeps going up and never stops.