Fake Fruit’s self-titled album debut was mostly written while the band’s lead Hannah D’Amato was sitting in her favourite Vancouver food establishments, before relocating her band to Oakland, California. The music: a post-punk description of heartbreak, anger and frustration. And while I don’t personally listen to a lot of post-punk music, I was surprised at how positive and adoring the comments were on their bandcamp page. So, I decided to take a deep dive into “How to write post-punk lyrics” on wikiHow Turns out Fake Fruit’s fanbase were completely right — they have managed to make an “album of classic British-style post punk” as Gaelan D’Costa wrote.
Step 1 on wikiHow is to find a topic and to “dive deeply into personal angst or worries.” Check! It also goes on to say that one should “Tap into the classic punk tradition of anti-establishment songwriting” and Fake Fruit’s “Lying Legal Lawyer Horrors” does exactly that with lyrics like, “Let’s talk about men’s rights […] nah! / They’ll be alright.” The wikiHow also says not to “be afraid to throw in a sense of humour” which I think the song “Milkman” manages to do wonderfully. The song is about finding out “What year death came to / The wholesome reign / Of the American milkman,” which doubles as an indirect reference to the realisation that a relationship is past its expiration date. Definitely post-punk!
Unfortunately, I did find some of the songs way too monotonous and repetitive in their sound and found it hard to differentiate between them. Despite the wikiHow article not mentioning that in its instructions, it does seem to be a somewhat common fixture of post-punk songwriting. Nonetheless, I did enjoy some of Fake Fruit’s rhythms, riffs and melodies, especially in “Swing and Miss,” which was definitely my album favourite. So, thank you to Fake Fruit for some fun and meaningful lyrics and for helping me understand the ins and outs of post-punk music! —Valie