Friday, 22 August 2014
Remember when we introduced Zola Blood and gnashed our teeth a little about the fact that this new band had presented themselves as another one of those boring faceless acts? Well, we have news. They’re human and have real faces - although frustratingly two of them have been partially blurred out in the publicity photo we’ve been supplied with. We can only assume that this is because those particular individuals are horrendously ugly and a bit embarrassed by that fact. Or maybe they’re moonlighting from another band and don’t want their secret to get out? Now that would be a good reason to be a mystery band wouldn’t it? So if you’re in a group and have someone called Matt on vocals and guitar, Ed on synth, Sam on drums or a Rob on guitar, and hang around in the Hackney Wick area of London be warned, they might be two timing you.
After grabbing the attention of a good part of the blogosphere’s attention with Grace, Zola Blood return with not just faces but a second song, the title track to their forthcoming EP out via Pond Life. Meridian marries chilled indie rock dynamics with a soft electronic sound reminding us a little of first album Delphic; although whilst Delphic drew some comparisons to New Order, it wouldn’t surprise us if Zola Blood grab a few Radiohead comparisons. Meridian is one of those slightly floaty electronic pop songs that in less able hands would just drift away without ever being noticed, but Zola Blood do an excellent job of keeping the whole thing contained and well structured.
Zola Blood play their first live show on the 9th October at the Shacklewell Arms in London.
Footnote : Doesn't the one on the right look a bit like Yannis from Foals? It's not him two timing is it and they've obscured the wrong face by mistake?
Zola Blood - Meridian
“I am fucking to this,” says one of the comments on the Soundcloud player for OOO AAA by San Francisco’s boy girl pop duo Cathedrals. That’s probably a bit too much information for our liking, but we know where they’re coming from. Taken from their debut EP via Neon Gold, out digitally and physically including a black grape transparent 10″ vinyl on September 8th, OOO AAA gives us all the excuses we need to make references to religious eargasms, but really that would just be pop music writing cliché to say such a thing wouldn’t it? The trouble is, sometimes pop music clichés = truth.
Cathedrals = OOO AAA
Look, let’s just make this absolutely clear shall we? Forget your preconceived ideas. Sophie Ellis Bextor’s 2014 album Wanderlust is a wonderful example of brilliantly written songs and of content over style. Sure it’s not the most challenging record, but does everything in life have to be challenging to make it enjoyable? Try telling that to any parent of a new baby that won’t stop crying. “Oh but the challenge of the lack of sleep makes the whole think so much more enjoyable doesn’t it?” You’ll probably get a punch in the face in return.
Come on Mercury Music prize judges, pull a little surprise and amongst the likes of FKA Twigs or whatever on it sound of 2014 type artists you choose, put Sophie Ellis Bextor’s name in the hat as well please.
The Deer And The Wolf is the latest single to be lifted from the album and deals with the roles we all take in relationships. “On and on and on my love, agree to disagree, under the surface it’s role reversal, the opposites decree,” sings Sophie in her unique voicebefore concluding at the end that “we’re in this together, you’re the only one.” Lovely.
Sophie Ellis Bextor - The Deer And The Wolf (Video)
Thursday, 21 August 2014
Chapter 12 ‘Visual Identity’ in the Rules of Pop is one that many bands skip 'because it's all about the music man.' They therefore end up failing. However, those that know, and we include in that category everyone from The Clash to The Pet Shop Boys, from Elvis to Lana Del Rey understand that a strong look does as much for a band as the music. This is particularly important for electronic music, where watching a band that only use computers and keyboards can have a distinct possibility of inducing shuteye, even when the tunes are fantastic.
Thankfully Avec Sans with their rack of Novation Launchpads (they're those square boxes of tricks with lots of flashing lights on them) know how to keep things colourful and stimulating on stage – it certainly makes watching a man touching his knobs in front of a crowd a bit more interesting.
Oh and of course Avec Sans sound good as well. That one’s so obvious though that it doesn’t need to even be written in the Rules of Pop (or really written about on this blog – you can just press play on new song All Of Time and determine that yourself.) But for those who want words, let’s try glistening high-order electropop ready to elevate you to cloud nine and beyond. That'll do won't it? Just press play and discover that yourself. It's free to download (here).
Avec Sans - All Of Time (Video)