The band formed in 2011 as a spinoff to other projects – Toast and Jon are also in The Buckfever Underground, while Jon and Jane are best known for Cassette.
Simply Dead sits somewhere between these two very different bands, with Toast's lyrics (Afrikaans and English) being guided along into weirdly lovable songs by Jane and Jon's pop strokes.
"Funny songs about death" - that's how they describe what goes on on 'Emoticon Breakdown', a 10-track album featuring songs about love lost, lonely desert bakers and the sunny scratch of death at the door. Nirvana gets a namecheck, Will Self too – there's a visit to the Wimpy in Klawer, the Namib Desert and all heart stops inbetween.
"'She Is With Me' is my favourite song from the album," says frontman Toast Coetzer. "It's structured nothing like a normal song, and it's very difficult for me to sing, but I like the way the English and Afrikaans lyrics curl around one another to make sounds you don't usually hear. I also like journey songs, and this one starts with a "funny" and then works itself through a fairly complex, abstract setting into a much simpler closing passage of a lover's longing."
Home recorded at Jane and Jon's Pocketlove Studios in Cape Town, 'Emoticon Breakdown' is sad and funny, informal and madcap, unusual and yet hum-along-able.
"The album contains ten songs which sound radically different and are not boring," says Toast. "I've always loved bands like Bran van 3000, or even The Magnetic Fields, where the songs sound like they're from five different albums, but have an emotional core which binds them together. The male-female vocal interplay also offers plenty of variety and despite the sometimes dense lyrics you get plenty of stomping party tunes out of it, somehow."