Monsterhouse has gone through a slew of iterations over the years. It was originally a written prose poem, then a spoken word track released on Circle House Records, a video poem, and has been countlessly shared and performed in the stage. Now, Human Head, the moniker of poet and writer Joshua Jones, are releasing it as a fully formed single set to Rory Padfield’s industrial production.

Monsterhouse pre-emptively questions held notions of identity; through memory and generational trauma. The track focuses on Jones’ experiences of witnessing his grandfather’s mental condition deteriorate under the firm grip of dementia. Everything that made him the person he was — a singer in an all-male Welsh choir, a soldier in Singapore during WWII, a widower — slipped away to nothing as he became an empty vessel, then a concept, a memory. The metaphor of the house interacts with the physical structure of the house in the song. As Jones’ grandfather’s mind deteriorated, and became a ghost haunting a house (the body), there were the sounds of bumps, groans, whispers, a voice trying to make itself heard.

The track was composed in lockdown over many messages, video calls and DropBox downloads, and Rory’s production samples stems from Xiu Xiu’s Isolate/Create drum loop packs. It features creeping synths, rattling sound design and melancholic guitars that perform in unison with the ebb & flow of Jones’ spoken vocals, whose strong Welsh accent prevails throughout. The video for Monsterhouse, filmed and edited by Jones, uses imagery from nature (shot in Devon and Dartmoor) and a wooden mannequin that further disquiets the viewer.

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