Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY Drops Debut Album 'Neko'

Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY Drops Debut Album 'Neko'

Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY's creativity knows no bounds, from drunk grannies to wheat manicures. The LVMH Prize shortlisted designer, who interweaves his own Scottish heritage with a vibrantly queer point of view, has consistently shown himself to be one to think outside of the box with each new collection. Now, the London Fashion Week darling is making the leap into the world of music with the release of their debut album, Neko.

Coinciding with the launch of LOVERBOY's Fall 2022 Art of Noise collection, which explores the designer's adoration of music and the physical, emotional and cultural ways it has influenced his work, Neko comes as the sonic extension of this world that Jeffrey describes as "a multi-genre mash up of electronic-meets-disco-meets-cinema-meets-grime-meets-screamo-meets-slapstick/comedy." In short, he says, "It's got everything."

Inviting a host of collaborators into the fold such as former member of The Horrors, Tom Furse, and multidisciplinary artist Robert Fox, the album presents an eclectic mix of sounds and styles ranging from distorted industrial outbursts, Vincent Price-esque monologues over orchestral swells, disco-kissed synth pop, jibberish screamo and more.

"From what I remember, we met six times in total and managed to get it all tied up," Jeffrey recalls. "We had a deadline to get it finished which was important, we could have gone on and on with our creative processes. Robert and I are like magnets when we are together we always gravitate towards performing, pretending to be different people, focusing on the word, 'Heron.' It always feels a bit Mighty Boosh. Tom and I also share a similar vibe in which we find ourselves being really inspired by what we do. Our viewpoints are intertwined. I honestly think Tom has one of most amazing minds."

Then Jeffrey brought in Fi McClusckey, who he says "makes me cackle and have goosebumps simultaneously," rapper TaliaBle, "who was literally my Vis-Com intern a year prior," and Raven Bush, "who provided the most delicious strings," to create what he describes as richer depth to the record. "Everything seemed to fall into place so nicely when creating, our working process was really efficient."

With visual nods to Elvira, What We Do in the Shadows and other goth/art house horror tropes, Neko fittingly arrives just in time for Halloween with the addition of a new video for the TaliaBle featuring "Blast." Directed by collaborator Robert Fox, the visual is a monochromatic David Lynch-ian frenzy of cars speeding down the highway, wild eyes and gnashing teeth before getting bewilderingly dropped down in the relative liminal calm of the London tube.

"'Blast' is probably my favorite song on the album and the one I had most fun writing (with TaliaBle), thus it was even more of a treat to be able to make a music video for it," Fox says. "The intention of the song was to blast the lid off reality in a state of pure transcendental chaos. I came up with the rhythm of the song as I was traveling around London on trains and buses. The music we listen to when traveling can invigorate a type of adrenaline that makes you feel light as a surface racing on the very surface of the world. I definitely favor fast-paced heart racing things to feel aligned with this momentum."

Fox adds, "Jack Davey wonderfully constructed a vehicle for us out of wood and cardboard, and we blasted into space from the confides of Charles' studio. The video ends with Talia falling through space and back to 'reality' on the London tube — completing the circle of cosmic travel that began in the 'Grey Night' video, or maybe even a year ago when we started making the album."

As to what Jeffrey hopes listeners take away from the Neko, the designer says, "I love that my career has allowed me to go down this creative path. If I could tell my 16-year-old self, not only would I have an award-winning fashion label, which is currently sold in over 100+ stores globally, but also released an album in collaboration with two of the most talented people, I would be gobsmacked. It's worth saying that you don't have to just stick to one path in this world. I would never want to just be seen as just a fashion designer. If it feels right for you to move forward into another medium then just do it. Find a way to make it work. I've worked to create a clothing label and now a debut album. Creativity just finds a way."

Check out Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY's debut album, Neko, below.

Photos courtesy of Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY