Tuesday, 21 February 2017
I’m not sure if Leeds based 3-piece Polo are named after the horseback sport, the Volkswagen car, the aftershave (which takes its name from the sport) or the classic British mint sweet with a hole in it, but what I do know is that their quirky and twitchy song Gold Horizons, taken from their debut EP Alice is an earworm.
Over pitter-patter beats, including what sounds like a dripping tap, and crisp tropical electronics it finds law student Kat McHugh singing of a bad choice; a devil on her shoulder that she keeps mistaking for an angel. There’s something devilish about the tune itself too as it sneaks gently up on you in its three minutes and forty seconds of oddball but delightfully enjoyable astute pop.
Released today, Soak, the second song from the EP gives a further dimension to the band’s sound. It’s both vulnerable in its lyrical delivery but fully robust and ergonomically designed in its detailed electronic soul pop delivery and adds a new dimension to their first release.
Take a listen to both songs below. The Alice EP is out on 10th March. The trio are currently playing a handful of dates across the country and will be at The Garage in London on 24th February.
Polo - Gold Horizons
Polo - Soak
Leave your preconceived ideas at the door for this one. If you saw the name Winston Marshall and thought ‘he’s in Mumford & Sons’ you’re right. What you’d be wrong about though was if you had assumed that this collaboration with Austrian electronic production duo HVOB was going to sound something akin to the vomit inducing techno-folk of Wake Me Up by Avicii. For The Blame Game, the first single from HVOB’s upcoming album Silk, is a thing of absolute beauty rather than something shameful, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Taking you on a journey from sedately intimate XX-like reverb laden guitar chords to dark whirlpools of warped wavy techno this is a song that needs all of the six minutes it occupies to expand fully outwards whilst immersing you inwards. Yet those six minutes never feel long. In fact they seem to pass far too quickly.
The song came about simply because Marshall emailed HVOB telling them that he liked their music and that he’d like to work with them. The duo didn’t take the email seriously at first, believing it to be fake, but a year and a half later, this unusual meeting of minds has produced a stunning piece of music that deserves your attention, whatever your thoughts on Mumford & Sons.
HVOB and Winston Marshall - The Blame Game
Monday, 20 February 2017
Total banger alert!
Take one call and response chant, a pumping house backing, some crafty guitar licks and some smooth lyrics about keeping you up all night and there you have it. Ten imagine throwing in a dancefloor, darkness, strobes, dry ice and a whole bunch of people ready to go batshit mental and you’ve got yourself A MOMENT.
Actually, you’ve got yourself A MOMENT even without the dry ice and strobes. Just turn this one up and add it to your best bangers in the worlds ever playlist.
There's a hint of Sleigh Bells with this one, as Sofi Tukker bring the noise. "This is one of the first times Sophie has ever screamed," say the duo. "Unfortunately there's a lot to scream about right now."
Sofi Tukker - Greed
Sunday, 19 February 2017
With its liquid gold synths and soft beats, Closer, the debut song from Norway’s Emma Jensen, sounds a tiny bit like Grimes on downers.
A hypnotic ode to wanting to hold on to someone who is drifting out of your relationship, this tune has a relatively sparse musical simplicity that in lesser hands could just float away to nothingness. Jensen does better than that though – it’s as if she is wiggling her musical finger at you beckoning you to be drawn in, then once you’re there she adds a surprising bluesy guitar riff just to prove that this isn’t just electropop balladry by numbers.
A soft sounding yet musically strong start from Jensen, it's probably not surprising that over the last week or so Closer has been picked up by quite a few new music blogs, Certainly it's my favourite song to come from Norway since we last heard from Aurora - and that's pretty decent company to keep.
Emma Jensen plays by:Larm festival in Oslo this March.
Emma Jensen - Closer