Throughout their 17-year metamorphosis—from spastic dance punks to spooky noise-makers to icy electronocists and beyond—Liars have had one constant: the partnership between vocalist Angus Andrew and instrumentalist Andrew Hemphill. Until now. Hemphill has bowed out, leaving eighth album TFCF as an Andrew solo endeavor. What does that mean, sonically speaking? In a recent Spin interview, Andrew explained that Hemphill had been more trusted advisor than co-creator in recent years, and TFCF seems to confirm it, fitting comfortably into Liars’ catalog, even if it lands short of favorites like 2006’s Drum’s Not Dead and 2012’s WIXIW.
There’s still a lot to like. Andrew brewed up TFCF in a remote part of his native Australia, while living in a house approachable only by rowboat, and that isolation soaks uneasy cuts like “The Grand Delusional” and “Ripe Ripe Rot”—which emphasize his vocals atop a variety of strange sounds—along with synthier tracks that glance back to 2014’s Mess (e.g. “Cred Woes”). “No Help Pamphlet” hints at an entirely new Liars chapter: Angus Andrew, singer-songwriter. Don’t think he won’t do it.