"I felt like I was part of something" a thread for Real Lies

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i voted for real lies, it spoke to the crushing sense of notalgia that was my 2020. also made me think of the beloved, who i also love in the same slightly-embarrassed-by-it kind of way


I’m a bit embarrassed how deeply “Boss Trick'' got its hooks in; it did absolutely nothing for me on first blush but now I’ve played it forty times if I’ve played it once and I am afraid I’m likely to listen to it another hundred in the coming year. I’m amused but unsurprised that this hooked you Dan; keep fucking around with Real Lies and they’ll definitely getcha!

There’s just something about the blend of the warm and rummy bassline, the breathy vocals, the canned drums, the piano motif, the disarmingly rich electrostrings and that sample OH THAT SAMPLE; it’s all unmistakably, immensely corny but somehow evokes genuine **Ff3eeee1llzzz** “Clubby PM Dawn” is a very good description imo.


The first Real Lies album, which I love a lot, is more like East 17 than anything else I can put my finger on.

They remind me of The Tough Alliance a lot though: immaculate hooks over synth-pop, swaggering and menacing delivery but celebratory joyous lyrics. I think TTA practice situationalism as a means of political escape in an idealised way, but for RL it manifests in the fleeting joy of nightlife and club culture.

They also make me think of Saint Etienne's first two albums - stylistically different of course, but both at a point in their careers where their music sounds tied to the city, and borne out of the thrill of the joy of pop itself, all samples and ambition.

I really love this band, I would have started a thread on them if I had had any inkling that ILM wouldn't hate it.


apparently real lies once described their sound as 'dj sprinkles meets oasis' lmao


boxedjoy, Saturday, 30 January 2021 09:55 (one year ago) link

and rather fortuitously they've released a new song this weekend


boxedjoy, Saturday, 30 January 2021 09:59 (one year ago) link

Oh wow why have I not heard these before?

the scamp has a thousand fries (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 30 January 2021 10:19 (one year ago) link

i have nothing but warm feelings for these lads, even they make me cringe a bit (hello new song!)

mage uluk (NickB), Saturday, 30 January 2021 10:42 (one year ago) link

i did enjoy their version of 'a raint night in soho' last year, they pretty much turned the pogues into a bark psychosis song:


mage uluk (NickB), Saturday, 30 January 2021 10:51 (one year ago) link

I feel like the cringe is part of the appeal: the way they skirt the boundary between lad swagger and earnestness, it feels disarmingly sincere

boxedjoy, Saturday, 30 January 2021 11:01 (one year ago) link

it's a weird kind of selling point, but yes - that!

mage uluk (NickB), Saturday, 30 January 2021 11:27 (one year ago) link

I'm not an expert in these matters, but should thread be called "a mix between DJ Sprinkles and PM Dawn with the swagger of Oasis" (or something like that)?

Smokahontas and John Spliff (PBKR), Saturday, 30 January 2021 14:10 (one year ago) link

I really missed a trick there eh

boxedjoy, Saturday, 30 January 2021 15:00 (one year ago) link

yeah boss trick is a ten, I love how it’s a tribute to the third guy who left the group, real earnest bromance vibes

brimstead, Saturday, 30 January 2021 18:02 (one year ago) link

Gorgeous merchandise that I'm vaguely tempted by: https://real-lies.bandcamp.com/merch/forza-rl-bliss-to-be-alive-scarves

As mentioned upthread, love the Ea(rne)st 17-ness of these guys

technopolis, Saturday, 30 January 2021 18:07 (one year ago) link

two months pass...


another new one, getting a very strong sense of how the new album is going to sound when it finally arrives

boxedjoy, Friday, 16 April 2021 11:09 (one year ago) link

Love “Late Arcades”. Though I think “Nicotine Patch” may be my favourite of the recent material.

Love the female/male vocal interplay on:

What you gonna use those sore lips for?
Making vows, breaking laws
Constant craving, settling scores
Football pools and cellar doors
Late enough to break
Stay cool son, ache, ache, ache, ache
Hold it inside
With all the reasons why

Tim F, Friday, 16 April 2021 11:27 (one year ago) link

five months pass...


boxedjoy, Wednesday, 13 October 2021 16:09 (seven months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I love this group

brimstead, Sunday, 31 October 2021 16:07 (six months ago) link

going to see them live tonight after it was postponed three (!) times and I am too excited

boxedjoy, Friday, 5 November 2021 10:55 (six months ago) link

Ever since discovering this group, I've become more and more obsessed with them

talkin' about his flat tire (DJP), Friday, 5 November 2021 13:29 (six months ago) link

these guys are wonderful.

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 5 November 2021 14:47 (six months ago) link

"late arcades" is just >>>>>>

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 5 November 2021 14:53 (six months ago) link

okay late arcades is outstanding

Tracer Hand, Friday, 5 November 2021 15:05 (six months ago) link

why didn’t anybody tell me about this band???

Tracer Hand, Friday, 5 November 2021 15:05 (six months ago) link

i found out about them in the 2020 ilx top tracks rollout i think? they were like 52 or something

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 5 November 2021 16:39 (six months ago) link

this album has the potential to rule my winter if it comes out soon ish.

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 5 November 2021 16:41 (six months ago) link

also i need the "bliss to be alive" shirt

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 5 November 2021 16:42 (six months ago) link

the sweetest thing I’ve ever known

brimstead, Friday, 5 November 2021 17:26 (six months ago) link

"since i" is a freaking anthem

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 5 November 2021 19:51 (six months ago) link

It’s about late-night people living in a world that doesn’t want them. It’s about ecstatic taxi rides, drawn curtains, Bluetooth speakers and the sudden pull of strangers. It’s about burying yourself in words and warm bodies in an endless search for the right ones. It was ushered into the world by our friend Tom Watson and finished off by us, with the help of Tom Demac. It’s the next song from our new album and it’s for all of you.
They tore the tongue from the town
Had the nerve to shed tears for the underground
Still need somewhere to come up now the club’s shut down
Aha, ha!
My heart lifts off the backseat, joins the bedtime birds
Numbers rule my life but I’m a man of words
But round her it surges like I can’t describe
Sin, sin, since I

Since I heard your name
I’ve been coming alive
The lines of your fingers
Can we head to mine?
Since I

Sin, sin, since I
Left you late
At Sunday light

It’s a city changing
A shadow play of what it was

It’s a different type of hedonist that wears the crown
Rave echoes are the currency in shutdown town
A sadlad reminiscence with the SoundCloud out
Aha, ha
I’m a caller you can count on in the fading light
I’m a counter you can call on in the dead of night
Young yearning, burning earnings
When the time is right
Since I

Sin, sin, since I

The roads are on surge but the urge has spoken
As one door shuts, another opens
Least till tomorrow when the spell is broken
Aha, ha…

If I were you, I’d forget about that day
Memory fades when you’ve let yourself down
Promises made in a cab, they fade
Well, where are the people who care for you now?
Summer sensoria, unite the euphoria
Get back on the chase and you’ll never come down
Daylight deceit makes you feel complete
Well, this is for someone who never slows down…

Since I

The sight of your shoulders
Laid by my side
Sin, sin, since I

We dreamt a dream of this town
In between the offie and the eider down
Can you hack another bag if you’re coming round?
Aha, ha!
Can you hear that banging bassline through your bedroom wall?
You shut down our clubs then six of us moved in next door
Least you can tell me now how you sleep at night
Sin, sin, since I

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 5 November 2021 19:53 (six months ago) link

going to see them live tonight after it was postponed three (!) times and I am too excited

how were they? I see they're playing here in a couple of days.

toby, Monday, 8 November 2021 13:27 (six months ago) link

I wouldn't want to spoil it but yes you should definitely go see them, they were excellent, the performance was full of surprises and everything was suitably banging, I think the next album is going to be the Saint Etienne/Burial/East 17 hybrid of my dreams based on the new material

boxedjoy, Monday, 8 November 2021 17:59 (six months ago) link

fuck this stuff is good

adam, Monday, 8 November 2021 18:47 (six months ago) link

It’s about late-night people living in a world that doesn’t want them. It’s about ecstatic taxi rides, drawn curtains, Bluetooth speakers and the sudden pull of strangers. It’s about burying yourself in words and warm bodies in an endless search for the right ones.

this is otm but also describes every Real Lies song?

Both "Since I" are "Your Guiding Hand" are fantastic.

Tim F, Monday, 8 November 2021 23:43 (six months ago) link

two months pass...

I was just Googling around looking for news about their second album and Juno has the track-listing, artwork and even previews up. Haven't seen anything announced officially anywhere yet so I'm not sure what the deal is. According to Juno the album is called Lad Ash and comes out on April 22nd.


My most anticipated album of the year at this point.

kitchen person, Thursday, 27 January 2022 05:10 (three months ago) link

it's not unusual for retailers to accidentally post listings for albums before they're announced, lots of stuff gets leaked out that way.

going through their run of singles over the last few years & "late arcades" is so good, glad that's on the album since not everything is.

ufo, Thursday, 27 January 2022 06:27 (three months ago) link

Theyve announced another show in Glasgow, it doesn't seem to be a "tour" but the date makes sense around this schedule for release

boxedjoy, Thursday, 27 January 2022 09:13 (three months ago) link

I’m gonna pretend that them leaving off their best song is some kind of 80s throwback strategy,

Tim F, Thursday, 27 January 2022 11:47 (three months ago) link

Genre: "breakbeat"

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 27 January 2022 12:04 (three months ago) link

what I really want is a bonus disc of the "UNREAL" mixes of the singles.

they played Oh Me Oh My (Nicotine Patch) at their show so it's not like they've disowned it.

boxedjoy, Thursday, 27 January 2022 12:13 (three months ago) link

Yeah I guess that’s my point, the song even has the feel of a single that sits outside of the album it is adjacent to

Tim F, Thursday, 27 January 2022 12:29 (three months ago) link

lad ash is happening

The questions you've been asking for so long have finally found their answer. 10AM tomorrow 🕊 https://t.co/hUPal9RWEB

— Real Lies (@_real_lies) February 8, 2022

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Tuesday, 8 February 2022 21:32 (three months ago) link


boxedjoy, Tuesday, 8 February 2022 22:57 (three months ago) link

I'm hoping it's the same release date that Juno had (April 22nd) as that's quite soon, but I also have my fingers crossed that the track-listing wasn't quite correct and Oh Me Oh My is on the album

kitchen person, Wednesday, 9 February 2022 00:40 (three months ago) link



juno listing was accurate

ufo, Wednesday, 9 February 2022 11:57 (three months ago) link

new song is a vibe

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Wednesday, 9 February 2022 18:18 (three months ago) link

Brilliant news!

Vinyl apparently includes bonus tracks never seen on vinyl before.

kitchen person, Thursday, 10 February 2022 03:10 (three months ago) link

three weeks pass...

some dates:

We've also added new dates to our 2022 tour. Come see us if you like, all ticket links below...

1 April - Manchester, White Hotel
23 April - Rotterdam, Motel Mozaique
28 April - London, Pickle Factory - SOLD OUT
30 April - Glasgow, Nice N Sleazy
28 May – Copenhagen, VEGA
6 Oct - London, Heaven
28 Oct - Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall
29 Oct - Nottingham, Bodega
18 Nov - Dublin, Grand Social
26 Nov - Brighton, Patterns

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Thursday, 3 March 2022 16:36 (two months ago) link

no spoilers but the live show when I saw them was full of charming surprises as well as being made of complete bangers and I can't wait to see them again

boxedjoy, Thursday, 3 March 2022 18:59 (two months ago) link

yes to all that, and the gig i saw was very in keeping with the spirit of their music - something very ingenuous and sincere about the whole thing, maybe its just the times we've been through but it was a genuinely emotional experience

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Thursday, 3 March 2022 19:09 (two months ago) link

massive rabbits – with a vital message https://t.co/ITyxrltlQc pic.twitter.com/36mxex0Cre

— Real Lies (@_real_lies) March 10, 2022

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Thursday, 10 March 2022 22:08 (two months ago) link

If anyone is interested Real Lies have a very lengthy Spotify playlist called “Bliss to be Alive” and it’s an absolute trove of goodies

the article don, Friday, 11 March 2022 22:24 (two months ago) link

Updated every fortnight too!

boxedjoy, Saturday, 12 March 2022 02:14 (two months ago) link

This album reads to me like a wistful midpoint between Underworld and Fluke and I really, really dig it

castanuts (DJP), Friday, 22 April 2022 19:41 (three weeks ago) link

holy fucking shit

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 22 April 2022 19:58 (three weeks ago) link

'Dream On' is killing me atm

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Friday, 22 April 2022 20:57 (three weeks ago) link

"Late Arcades" still rules so hard

Murgatroid, Friday, 22 April 2022 21:04 (three weeks ago) link

This is so good.

An original sentence was "How many layers of irony do you need to navigate to include a track called 'Thameslink Tryst' ffs?" but after navigating "Thameslink Tryst feels like actually offering out Burial live on air", I think I'll go with "I love you for including a track called Thameslink Tryst".

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Friday, 22 April 2022 21:59 (three weeks ago) link

album feels like hearing last exit for the first time again

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Saturday, 23 April 2022 14:27 (three weeks ago) link

Yes! There was one track towards the end that was a dead ringer for Junior Boys. I wasn't that hot on "Dream On" as a single but it flows very well in the album

Vinnie, Saturday, 23 April 2022 15:11 (three weeks ago) link

lol ya i buy this as second incarnation of last exit on some level, the cringe being a critical element (saying this as an unabashed last exit stan).

the stuff i like most here is pulling the thread of Three Words by way of Summer's Last Sound. Dolphin Junction is a current highlight.

i was curious about their live sound too and found this set from lockdown. it sounds great! better than i expected for some reason: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGhAB7ibGi0

anza808, Sunday, 24 April 2022 00:56 (three weeks ago) link

oh no that don’t have a dude that sings like the junior boys guy now do they?

brimstead, Sunday, 24 April 2022 02:49 (three weeks ago) link

(Haven’t heard the album yet)

brimstead, Sunday, 24 April 2022 02:49 (three weeks ago) link

"The Carousel" is the one I was thinking of: very Junior Boys sounding, and yes it has singing, not sure who's doing it

I missed a lot of the lead-up songs to this album so I'm only just realizing how amazing "Your Guiding Hand" is, it's buried near the end. overall, an incredible album

Vinnie, Monday, 25 April 2022 11:13 (three weeks ago) link

Really enjoyed first listen of the album with 'An Oral History...' and 'Dolphin Junction' standing out a little but solid all through. Worth the wait.

nashwan, Monday, 25 April 2022 11:44 (three weeks ago) link

there are lots of highlights in the back half, i don’t really feel like anything is buried

in places all over the world, real stuff be happening (voodoo chili), Monday, 25 April 2022 12:51 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah wrong choice of words on my part. I mean to say I was so taken with the front half on the first couple listens that I didn't pay as much attention to the back half, which is also quite good

Vinnie, Monday, 25 April 2022 12:59 (three weeks ago) link

no doubt, it’s all great, i do think that my favorite not
-single moments are on the back half, like “dolphin junction” and “your guiding hand.” “dicaprio” is pretty good too, love how it transitions from compelling cool down to m83-style bombast

in places all over the world, real stuff be happening (voodoo chili), Monday, 25 April 2022 14:07 (three weeks ago) link

fairly certain DiCaprio lifts this


anza808, Monday, 25 April 2022 17:58 (three weeks ago) link

I deliberately mostly avoided the singles to wait for the album, so this is hitting me all at once. Amazing album.

toby, Wednesday, 27 April 2022 00:47 (three weeks ago) link

It's hard to put into words just how much I love the moment when the beat kicks in on Dream On. It makes me so happy.

Also really obsessed with An Oral History Of My First Kiss, especially the backing vocals which give me Steal My Sunshine vibes.

Perfect album. Probably my favourite of the decade so far.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 27 April 2022 01:39 (three weeks ago) link

talking of things that sound like real lies, i ventured into spotify's real lies artist radio today to see what the algorhithm would throw up and there seem to be quite few newish uk acts who have the same sort of thing going on but - and i'm not going to name names here cos everyone likes their own thing - but a lot of them seemed pretty dreadful to me.

I've always wondered whether there's a sprinkling of personal algorithms in those artist radios because my Real Lies one is pretty decent although filled with stuff I already listen to like Charlotte Adigery, Bullion, Hard Feelings, Anz, Joy Orbison etc

groovypanda, Wednesday, 27 April 2022 11:05 (three weeks ago) link

I had the opposite experience - after this album it played Flaurese, St Jude, Lawrence Hart, HAAi, Nabihah Iqbal, Working Mens Club - all good to great.

nashwan, Wednesday, 27 April 2022 11:33 (three weeks ago) link

That Nabibah Iqbal song is so good if it's the one I think it is

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Wednesday, 27 April 2022 14:25 (three weeks ago) link

I'm obsessed with An Oral History Of My First Kiss, too, and with DeCaprio, in particular "Do you remember? That second Nessun Dorma summer..."

toby, Wednesday, 27 April 2022 15:48 (three weeks ago) link

I'm a bit disappointed to see this hasn't been reviewed many places yet. It deserves a lot more coverage.

kitchen person, Wednesday, 27 April 2022 17:20 (three weeks ago) link

If anyone wants to commission me please do, I have a LOT of feelings about this album

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 27 April 2022 18:03 (three weeks ago) link

did the guy burn some bridges working in editorial? bad pr team? unlikeable people? all the above? genuinely surprised at this getting so little coverage

anza808, Thursday, 28 April 2022 11:15 (three weeks ago) link

“I felt like I was part of something” pic.twitter.com/VCmWchV69I

— Real Lies (@_real_lies) April 27, 2022

groovypanda, Thursday, 28 April 2022 11:41 (three weeks ago) link

it's kind of confusing bc p4k gave an early single from 2014 bnm and then didn't even review the first album

it looks like lad ash was just self-released though so that + it's been 7 years since their debut, which didn't really do well enough to get them much of a critical following or anything, means i guess it's pretty easy for them to fall through the gaps

ufo, Thursday, 28 April 2022 11:48 (three weeks ago) link

I think as well that their style of music is so untrendy right now in a lot of ways - yes, they're drawing from dance music and its culture, but it's not the "cool" end, it's big-room Underworld-style sounds of yesteryear. The laddishness could have put them in that thread of naff UK bands with "swagger of Oasis" and it's easy to mistake that lack of finesse and polish for deliberate machismo posturing if you're not paying close attention. The disarming sincerity and vulnerability is at odds with the artfulness of a lot of contemporary indie too. I think the reason they stand out is that they feel so singular and unique in what they do, as much as they excel at what they're aiming for. But that's what makes them a difficult proposition to sell - there's not really any major current trends they align with.

boxedjoy, Thursday, 28 April 2022 12:10 (three weeks ago) link

I would definitely have pitched a review if I still wrote for p4k.

I agree with boxedjoy's take above, though would perhaps say (not that this contradicts boxedjoy's point) that maybe part of the problem is that, if you're not paying attention, they can be boxed too easily as "West End Girls" as produced by Underworld (or some variant or equivalent) - not so much "I don't get it" as "I get it too easily and there's nothing more there to get, to grapple with". I doubt many if any people find them either perplexing or hateful, but I could imagine a lot of shrugged shoulders and "why should I care?"

Or to put it more simply, I am surprised that there is no post above, perhaps from imago (or turrican if they were still around?) dismissing Real Lies as pleasant but ultimately unimaginative, derivative music for norms.

"You Guiding Hand" was excellent as a standalone single but it works even better in the context of the album, the pummelling kickdrum section (vaguely reminiscent of "Born Slippy") is like a final blast of ravey euphoria before the album winds down.

Tim F, Friday, 29 April 2022 03:56 (two weeks ago) link

I think as well that their style of music is so untrendy right now in a lot of ways

an obvious comparison as far as recent acts go is for those i love, who's gotten a fair bit of attention & acclaim in the uk press lately doing a pretty similar spoken-word-over-moody-dance-music thing but he's really nowhere near as compelling as real lies

real lies obviously aren't innovating but they've distilled down their influences really really well, captured that melancholic uk late night vibe as well as anyone ever has. the album's pretty wide-ranging too within that vibe

think the lack of backlash so far is partly because they have pretty much no hype in the press or anything

ufo, Friday, 29 April 2022 04:30 (two weeks ago) link

the one For Those I Love track I've heard was terrible, the example of how to do this sort of thing really badly

boxedjoy, Friday, 29 April 2022 08:17 (two weeks ago) link

yeah i did not get the hype there at all

ufo, Friday, 29 April 2022 08:52 (two weeks ago) link

Can't remember the last time I played an album as much as I have this one in the last week. Got tickets to see them in November and can't wait

groovypanda, Friday, 29 April 2022 09:41 (two weeks ago) link

They're a lot of fun live - saw them in Salford a few weeks back and while they were hampered by technical glitches, once those were fixed it was really good. Guest vocalists and dancers!

Concur with all the praise for the album, the new tracks easily stand up to the previously released tracks.

Twelves, Friday, 29 April 2022 11:09 (two weeks ago) link

seeing them tomorrow for the second time in six months, even more excited because I know what to expect (and this time insisting on pals coming rather than going alone)

boxedjoy, Friday, 29 April 2022 11:27 (two weeks ago) link

have fun boxedjoy, hope you have a beautiful night out!

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Friday, 29 April 2022 12:45 (two weeks ago) link

Lad Ash has crashed into the Official UK Album (Downloads) Chart Top 100 at #85!!! (which probably equates to about 40 actual purchases)

technopolis, Friday, 29 April 2022 18:09 (two weeks ago) link

Plus: an actual review! Great stuff from tQ: https://thequietus.com/articles/31453-real-lies-lad-ash-review

technopolis, Friday, 29 April 2022 19:38 (two weeks ago) link

that's a nice review

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Friday, 29 April 2022 20:23 (two weeks ago) link

Looks like it will be amazing boxedjoy xps

Still coming down from @_real_lies last night 🌹 🕊 pic.twitter.com/mwcamygrBu

— Nick Levine (@nicklevine) April 29, 2022

groovypanda, Friday, 29 April 2022 20:32 (two weeks ago) link

i don't want to wish the whole summer away but their brighton date in october can't come quickly enough

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Friday, 29 April 2022 20:36 (two weeks ago) link

I'll be at the Glasgow show tomorrow too, first gig post covid

ignore the blue line (or something), Friday, 29 April 2022 21:31 (two weeks ago) link

v jealous of y'all getting to see them. album totally kills

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Friday, 29 April 2022 21:33 (two weeks ago) link

Mini ilx fap imminent!

boxedjoy, Saturday, 30 April 2022 00:20 (two weeks ago) link

gig was incredible, tho i am deaf in one ear now. was funny to see Kevin Kharas queuing up at the bar for a beer just before they came on. And the girl who sings on Nicotine Patch spent the show dancing just next to us. Intimate no frills show, proper rave atmosphere

ignore the blue line (or something), Sunday, 1 May 2022 12:29 (two weeks ago) link

even better than last time I saw them, best band in the world right now, bliss to be alive

boxedjoy, Monday, 2 May 2022 09:45 (two weeks ago) link


o shit the sheriff (NickB), Monday, 2 May 2022 09:53 (two weeks ago) link

ty boxedjoy and tim f for helping me codify my thoughts about this band. deeply uncool as very cool is a funny and interesting take, somehow extremely accurate in my brainspace.

Xii, Monday, 2 May 2022 16:02 (two weeks ago) link

Still listening daily.

Album of the year

groovypanda, Friday, 13 May 2022 08:54 (six days ago) link

Also this (starts 66 minutes in):

We were live in session on @BBCR1 last night. Listen back now https://t.co/TZDWIADvBN pic.twitter.com/vssnBshrAx

— Real Lies (@_real_lies) May 11, 2022

groovypanda, Friday, 13 May 2022 09:06 (six days ago) link

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