One True Pairing – the solo project of Wild Beasts’ Tom Fleming – has returned with a new single called “Frozen Food Centre”. The song has apparently “been in my head for about seven years”, according to Fleming. He adds:
“There’s a Chris Marker quote, ‘I have been around the world several times, and now only banality interests me’. Places that aren’t on the map and may not ever be. Well-kept gardens, ring roads, clusters of identical houses. Ghouls ten years your senior seeping out of the cracks. They know your name and your habits, drifting under the floodlights in the car park.”
Across seven minutes, Fleming’s unmistakably rich and warming voice is backed by finger-picked acoustic guitar that traces the outlines of the lives he’s describing. Despite the slow-moving nature of the song, it is deeply compelling as it acknowledges the greyness of normal life but determines to find beauty in it. Images of undesirable housing estates and featureless roads are augmented by glorious but not overbearing splashes of harp and other string instruments, bringing a dash of romance and cinema into these everyday lives in unknown locations. It’s a subtle acknowledgement that every life, no matter how big or small, is full of wonder.
The video for “Frozen Food Centre” was directed by James Hankins mirrors the song in that it depicts moments from humdrum daily lives but adds a loving sparkle that yields an emotional connection.