Wesley Gonzalez’s new album Appalling Human is out now on Moshi Moshi Records, and today sees the release of another CGI video for new single “Did You Get What You Paid For?” On an album in which he confronts issues of the self, social anxiety and psychotherapy – alongside conducting character studies of complicated individuals – “Did You Get What You Paid For?” is a track which ties all of the record’s main themes of recovery, family and vulnerability together.

“I wrote this, unsurprisingly, in a very dark moment. I tried to write a song that I would want to be played at my funeral. I thought “Do you all love me? Am I what you want? Did you get what you paid for?” – was a pretty good final statement. A good mix of tragedy and comedy – I wrote the music with that in mind as well it has to be said, but it had to have personality, I can’t die boring. I wanted to go with some swag.”

Turning pop sophisticate on Appalling Human, “Did You Get What You Paid For?” follows recent singles “Tried To Tell Me Something” and “Change”. Ironically a more accomplished record than his 2017 debut Excellent Musician, here Gonzalez makes full use of a lithe band armed with an orgy of high-end synthesizers, all mixed for the dancefloor by James Greenwood (Ghost Culture, Daniel Avery, Kelly Lee Owens). Both its sound and emotional clout are huge.

Continuing about the video, he adds: “I’ve had the concept for the video in the back of my mind since writing the track, the thought behind the song was “what song would I write to be played at my funeral?” Danny Nellis (Director) and I discussed it at length and then we came to a fork in the road due to the Pandemic. Digital artist Alex Jackson worked on the last video for Tried To Tell Me Something and when we were working on that I went through this idea with him so he could build CGI sets, I sent through photos I particularly liked of Southern Baptist Funeral Homes in the US, then Danny came up with a list of shots and we enlisted fans over the internet who had use of a camera and green screen, and got a really great response. It’s been a joy working on this video, it is the closest thing to what I had in my imagination initially thanks to working closely with really close friends who could see the vision clearly too. All three of us are extraordinarily grateful to everyone who sent in footage and made the video what it is, the help of fans was vital in the production of this and it was fantastic to be in close contact with lovely people who cared about the project. And yes that is my mother kicking the f*** off at the end.”

Along with therapy, taking better care of himself and a switch from guitars to learning and writing on piano, it was the choice of people to work with that helped him into this new creative phase.The new line up around Wesley was completed by the bassist Joe Chilton, singer Rose Dougal, drummer Bobby Voltaire and Callum Duffy on synths. They’d sit back and accommodate his demanding notion of how things should sound.

As the new way of working unblocked Gonzalez’ creativity on the first record, so too did new listening lead to stepping up his ambition for the scope and sound of its follow-up. He was going in for work each day at a Soho record shop, wanting to throw himself into traffic, then patching himself up with music.

“I was listening to loads of house music, hip hop, soul and funk. The more dance music you listen to, the more you go like ‘Oh, it’s OK not to be dreary the entire time.'”

Despite all the electronic prostheses that grace his solo project, at the heart of his music there is a depth to the song writing and a singular character to it. There’s an eccentricity somewhat akin to Harry Nilsson, or Andy Partridge of XTC, and a kind of melancholy (lost)innocence. His sensitive feel for characters and situations is simply unparalleled in his peer group. It’s a depth that becomes more and more apparent with each release.

Wesley Gonzalez – Appalling Human tracklisting

1. Tried To Tell Me Something
2. Wind Your Neck In
3. Friend At First
4. A Fault In Your Design
5. Change
6. Come Through & See Me
7. Girl, You’re My Family Now
8. Used To Love You
9. Fault Of The Family
10. The Mice
11. If I’m Sad
12. Did You Get What You Paid For?

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