Ones To Watch: Novella to Action Bronson
Straight of a fuzz box are three girls who sound like Sabadoh’s truant niece, the one who pretends to be studying, but goes to basement gigs to hang out with Miki Berenyi and Steve Malkmus. Their psychedelic lo-fi is swathed in jarring melodies and lush harmonies which climax in ballistic dream fuzz and Steve Shelly-esque drumming- oh yeah, there’s an anonymous drummer, Ian, there always is with these things. Hollie Warren and Suki Sou were initially Brighton housemates who formed a band through MySpace (yeah I had to Wiki that site too) before moving to London to hook up with Sophy Hollington. Their self-titled EP oozes with US lo-gaze effects – ‘He’s My Morning’ – giving a drowning aura to their music’s primal excitement.
Don’t Believe Ayn Rand by Novella.
I Am Harlequin
London based East German, Anne Freier, makes sprightly pop which relies on sweeping layers and ethereal synths rather than pounding beats and warbles. Freier’s new EP, Craze, veers from ‘Wild One’’s subtle Adele balladeering to ‘Something Else’’s The XX-goes-Human League electro sparkle. If electro pop can ever be orchestral and lo-fi then Freier has managed it by stripping down Moloko’s outsider pop to create vibrant minimalism. Her music has previously been featured on Skins meaning it is hip with the kids, so who am I to argue with the ‘yoof’. She’s the beautifully cool pop star we’ve been waiting for.
This Copenhagen trio should just be called Darkly, such is the level of bleak menace in their gothic post-garage stomp. ‘Diana’, from their self-titled debut EP, has the sinister monotony of a nihilistic argument between The Bad Seeds and Teenage Jesus. Best of all they wear leather jackets and look like snotty oiks, the kind of kids you’d imagine hanging around demolition sites listening to Alan Vega and deconstructing Ian Curtis lyrics, hoping one day to get in to CBGB’s, yeah, that awesome. They are both fascinating and disturbing, yet their driving pulse grabs you, pulling you in their shadows as Black Rebel Motorclub would have, had they been any good. They are a deeply moving and uncompromising take on bleak post punk.
“Welcome to the inner workings of my mind, so dark inside I can’t disguise” Ms sings during ‘Hurricane’, while Mr warps a gentle Airwolf synth over floppy Mr Soft beats. It is serious business this synth-pop malarkey, and Ms Mr have condensed the essence of shadowy goth pop in to artisan pleasure packages. Not a lot is known about the New York gloom-glitchers other than they sound like Poliça gone gospel. The video to ‘Hurricane’ is one of those hip videos with lots of vintage photos in a montage, which makes their Eighties pop, like, totally now. Rhythmically, they are similar to Niki and the Dove, particularly on ‘Ash Tree Lanes’ with its toms sounding almost tribal amongst the Florence infections.
The wave of current hip-hop acts eschewing slick-pop and glitz for old school jazzy samples and classic beats is relentlessly inspiring. The former grill chef from Queens is the everyday man’s rapper, spitting about his experience, rather than unfounded aspirations, which mainly involve food, pop culture and blunts, while maintaining edgy flows – bacon’s serious business after all. There’s no lyrical subtlety though; for every chicken in a basket there’s a MF’n pussy. Bronson’s aural resemblance to Ghostface Killah is proudly displayed, and although some beats can seem formulaic if Killah’s work on 36 Chambers set the formula then copy away. However, a recent spate of offense and stupid Tweets about drenching a Mexican transvestite, shows Bronson still has much to learn.
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