Review: Billy Nomates Spits Home Truths on ‘No’

By Hayley James

Billy Nomates is a one woman tour de force, bringing her own brand of post punk out of the greenery of rural Leicestershire, using just her laptop and microphones, and occasional guest appearances from fellow musician pals. 

After getting totally fed up with the trying to hold a band together, songwriter, vocalist and co-producer, Tor Maries, started solo in early 2019. She’s honest, rough around the edges and unapologetic. Her song writing takes a firm and focused view of modern society, and particularly her role within it, and reflects that she “wants better from people, life, herself and others”. 

The track ‘No’ really stands out from this debut album, with spoken word-esque vocals, reminiscent of the Sonic Youth track ‘In the Kingdom #19’. This track salutes the power of saying ‘No’, and brazenly and boldly take a pro-feminist stance.  

There’s no slow build to this song; as a listener you can almost see her standing with a middle finger raised, as the tune kicks in with a bass and drum intro and Billy Nomates rattles though her distain for living to others expectations with cool, calm intensity, yet a degree of mania reminiscent of Patti Smith’s Horses’.

She is defiant and resolute, and she continues to say ‘No’ to unrealistic Body image goals, comparisons based on social media, and doesn’t beat around the proverbial bush as she murmurs “I wont shave everything off, Im not 12.” 

The chorus breaks down into a more melodic segment, with the vocals almost reminiscent of Stevie Nicks, with shades of Grimes, Warpaint, and Haim through these parts. 

Upon reflection on this track, its hard to not agree with Billy Nomates, that the word ‘No’ is “going to start a war”. While being catchy and almost nonchalant in places, its evident, that these declarations are not flippant throw away comments, coming across as an act of resistance.

Her full debut album is available now on Bandcamp, with another album coming in January 2020. You can catch her in Birmingham at a certain launch party this December…

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