Naming yourselves the same as a certain UK high street budget fashion store probably isn’t the greatest idea in the world, particularly when your singer is a former model, but then New Look is still a better name for a band than Primark or Dorothy Perkins.
Furthermore it’s easy to suggest a lack of imagination for a group when they release a single with such a dull title as The Ballad yet this is just what this Canadian electronic duo have done. There are absolutely no criticisms of the song itself though, for The Ballad is a deftly produced and spectacularly spacious piece of electronic pop music with an emotional message of love at its soul. “This is the part when everybody says they love you so. You know I love you so,” the words go.
New Look are not 100% a new band. They first surfaced back in 2005 when Sarah Ruba (vocals) and producer Adam Pavao (production), met in Toronto and began to work together. Then with some demo tracks recorded in 2006 they relocated to Brooklyn, New York where Sarah was pushing forward with her non-music career. The couple then married and in 2008 released their debut EP How’s My Hair? and played some shows including the UK. The EP picked up a word of mouth buzz and although Sarah’s voice was nearly alluring the songs were probably a little too wonky and a little too experimental for many. Since then New Look have signed with !K7 Records, home to Jimmy Edgar and Chromeo and spent time honing their skills, The Ballad being the first output. The song hints at early Eurythmics, Kraftwerk and Yazoo but with modern studio values and has a graceful icy subtlety to it. With these beautifully clipped beats and crystal female vocals New Look are potential heirs to the stylish underground electropop duo throne.
The video for The Ballad streams below, but for full effect listen to the longer 6 minute version of the song in the Soundcloud stream, which has been holding our attention for the last couple of weeks.
If you are based in London you have a couple of opportunities to see New Look in the next few days as they headline the Shacklewell Arms on July 5 and then Old Blue Last on July 7 where they support Breaking More Waves favourites Visions of Trees. Worth a look, surely?New Look - The Ballad by !K7 Records