Described by his label as a “mercurial melodist”, Robert Sotelo has been building a back catalogue of deliciously different DIY-pop ever since releasing his debut album, Cusp, back in 2017. A frequent collaborator, Robert (real name Andrew Doig) also performs with the likes of Nightshift and Order Of The Toad. In November last year, he teamed up with Upset The Rhythm once more and shared this fourth solo record, Celebrant. The album was his attempt to create, “a joyous wedding album”, to mark his recent nuptials, although it did get somewhat sidetracked by darker themes presented by the pandemic and the loss of his Aunt Carmen. Today Robert is premiering a new video to This Is My House, the track that opens the second side of Celebrant, and is the last song to be lifted from it.
Discussing the inspiration behind the track, Robert has suggested it is, “a song about when property ownership goes bad”, based on the surrealism meets The Sims themes of the accompanying video, I can assume that this bad experience involved a pair of dancing flamingos and a lot of archways.
Musically, the track is a delightfully woozy affair, all bassy synth, glitchy beats and fuzzy electronics, as if Field Music had written the soundtrack to a Gameboy version of The Legend of Zelda. Atop it all is Robert’s vocal, which sits somewhere between the quintessentially British tones of Ray Davies and the odd-ball crooning of Scott Walker. Even as the bulldozers mass at the door, he sings his suburban woes through a veneer of self-satisfaction, “this is my house, I’m ever so proud”. It might be the last dance at the end of the wedding disco, but This Is My House signs Celebrant off in style, cans clanging from the exhaust, confetti in the air, ready for whatever joys Robert Sotelo’s new life might bring us next.