Delaire The Liar, ‘Self Defence’ EP | Track By Track

Delaire The Liar vocalist Ffin Colley guides us track by track through the making of the bands’s new EP ‘Self Defence’, out now via Rude Records.


“The concept for ‘SELF DEFENCE’ started with the title, as most of our releases do. During last year’s winter holidays the phrase started to whip around my head, with some reflection it’s probably quite obvious as to why – I (Ffin) had gotten very ill in November and spent some time in hospital  – but at the time it just felt that the parameters of the subject aren’t always so defined, the measures we deem necessary to protect ourselves aren’t always positive or beneficial and a commitment to them can distort your moral lens. The initial response to self defence is to assume that it’s physical, immediate and violent but with this EP we aimed to explore the more considered and detailed possibilities of self defence and how the outcome can sometimes be adverse to the intent.”

angel number.'

“We set out to have a stark contrast between the music and lyrics with this song, it needed to have an exposed, vulnerable instrumentation, paired with callous and calculated lyrics that start to unhinge as the song develops. Em’s voice has the capacity to be so delicate and she’s so articulate with her diction it lended itself beautifully to the task. Most of our songs start out in the demo phase with me doing all the vocals and then we divide them out between us. We’d been looking for an opportunity for Em to step into a lead vocal role since ‘FURNACE’ and once we had the demo for ‘angel number.’ it made perfect sense. 

The story is wrought with suspicion, allusions that could establish a murder motive for personal gain and financial security. This reaches its boiling and most incriminating point in the bridge with the lyrics that read “the clothes that smell like chloroform/face down on the hotel floor/a last name you always hated/filed for divorce, already separated”. But the overarching aim of ‘angel number.’ is to investigate negative, formative experiences/relationships and whilst boundaries are important, if you allow that influence to take deep root they can isolate you and begin to underpin everything you think you want, with everything you haven’t got.” 

‘bite trap.’

“It’s with ‘bite trap.’ that the tension needed to be palpable straight out the gate. A dramatic stage is set with the resuscitation of an unconscious, bleeding body with little to no explanation as to why. There’s all this screaming from a gathering crowd; a person has been hurt, a person needs to be saved and there’s no time to question whether or not that person had put themselves in that position on purpose. As punishment, or as sacrifice. The narrative switches in the second verse to the bed bound, resentful mess of wires that gives a clearer, darker picture of the initial intent of the opening scene.

This was the song that kick-started the EP, it was the first riff idea I had come up with whilst at my parents house, messing around on my dad’s old classical guitar. Once I’d come back to London and we got a rough demo of it tracked, I remember Em turning to me and saying “that’s a fucking good chorus” and I still think she’s right haha. We then decided that what it really needed was (and we affectionately referred to as) a ‘generic hardcore breakdown’ with a shit tonne of sub drops and what Chazzy calls ‘the biggest drum fill of all time’. We’d never written anything like that before but as it stands, it’s collectively one of our favourite moments in the set.”    

‘all your labour.’

“‘all your labour.’ is a last ditch effort. What you’re left with and what you resort to when the house built off the back of your hard work is ripped away from you. The guilt of having trusted the wrong people, an offer too good to be true, gone bad. Nothing else matters, it’s bigger than you now and your vision is tunnelled. This song is a self-righteous crusade for justice, reparation and revenge. The only consistency in the story is the lack of control the character has and as the plot thickens, the chance to regain the wheel gets further and further out of reach.

This song has some of my favourite moments of Chazzy’s drumming in, it drives furiously in parts and then sits back and lets the space in the song build in tension – particularly in the bridge where everything really starts to derail. He’s actually started building on this fill in last chorus for the live adaptation which takes that whole section to a new level, it’s fucking wicked. The lead guitar line in the chorus is one of my favourites too, I’m not the most technically proficient guitarist and I find writing lead parts quite difficult but I remember when we were recording and that part came to me, I felt like I was Herman fucking Li.”


“The concept for this song is a little more abstract than the others, from a conversation with my family around the idea of self defence that quickly devolved into ‘what IS the SELF???’ (yep, just as pretentious as it sounds) and the idea that ‘the self’ is fractured; which part of your personality do you primarily present, which do you repress, which part is in need of defence – either from itself or from others and are you in control of which version of yourself takes precedent in varying situations? Whether social, threatening, private or defensive, has the person we are in these moments already been decided for us subconsciously and do we have the capacity to change that if necessary.

Obviously the bass in this song is absolutely ridiculous, but what’s interesting about this track is that the instrumentation was actually developed from a song we had that we released exclusively on bandcamp a few years ago. They certainly sound miles apart now but this was the first time we’d decided to completely strip and remodel a song and it really gave the thing new life. This is also the only track we’ve ever done where the lead vocals from the demo  made it onto the final track, I remember when we recorded them and thinking they just had to be on there.  I think we captured some of my best vocal performances ever on this song and I think ending on the lyrics: “you’ve seen things you can’t explain/are you missing time?/ or born again?” ties the EP together and rounds the concept off in a really climactic, collapsing way.”

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