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‘C’ is for Creepy Neighbour

9 Feb

We’ve all had one. Be they curtain twitchers, late night speedo wearers, overly familiar single men, leery weirdos who can’t stop staring or any other variation, every street has its own unwanted Creepy Neighbour. Thanks to sometime Groove Armada and Roots Manuva bassist, Max Taylor and his collective of like minded musical souls, there is now a Creepy Neighbour we’re happy to have in our life.

With just three tracks scattered across the internet so far, pickings are a little slim but all the signs are there that the Creepy Neighbour journey is going to be a lot of fun. How many other fledgling bands can you think of with celebrity friends like Phillip Schofield and Lily Allen just three songs in?

Specialising in a hybrid indie-pop-electro-prog sound and songs about fitting in and standing out, Creepy Neighbour has the potential to be your new favourite band.

The sublimely dreamy “Millionaire Spaceman” is an anthem for Xennials. A heady mixture of unattainable dreams and grounded work ethic set to a gorgeously marbled soundscapes, piercing synthy noodles and a headswirlingly mesmeric melody. Taylor’s near falsetto floats and drifts like bubbles in a lava lamp, settling perfectly against the soft tide of guitars, synths and rhythm. “Break A Leg” meanwhile is a joyful tumble across a drum kit layered with an infectious playground-game-like rhyme, all bouncy, innocent and skippy in its tone.

Latest single “A Really Bad Person’ sees the band, made up of Harry Bennett (drums) Curtis Stansfield (synths) Sam Ryan (Guitar) alongside Taylor, veer off into a softer, more downtempo direction. From its Breeders evoking guitar intro to its ethereal and gossamer melody, the whole thing is a gentle swoon of a song with a subtle, life affirming message.

”“A Really Bad Person” they explain ”is about living a life not comfortable with one’s own sexual desires and needs, it’s about owning your own freak and understanding that it’s actually completely and totally fine. Embrace your freak, enjoy it”.

A soft, ebbing freak embracing anthem with Van Gogh like synth swirls? That’s a sound and aesthetic we can get behind and one we are delighted to be including in the Alphabet Bands Class of 2018.

Creepy Neighbour are playing at the Norwich Arts Centre on 10 Feb, supporting Birds of Hell and tickets are available to buy here. You can get wonderful Creepy Neighbour music from Bandcamp.

Get to know Creepy Neighbour: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Prides – Born To Be Whole

8 Feb

As you sit at your computer of an evening, ever so slightly buzzed from a couple of midweek rums and staring blankly at a page with words that just won’t appear, you find yourself in need of something inspiring, something uplifting and something damn good. The new single from Prides very nearly slipped under our radar but thankfully, it and its big arms-flung-wide-spinning-around-euphorically sound is here to drag us out of this funk.

It feels like an absolute age since we last heard from the Glasgow pair (which is largely our own fault) and their return is extremely welcome. While the weather may still be largely sub-zero here in the UK, the nights are getting shorter and “Born To Be Whole” is like a bright shaft of sunlight breaking through the gloom.

Light and atmospheric in sound, there is a rousing anthemic quality to get lost in, to be raised up upon and to sing along unashamedly to. The synths are bright and bold as they swell into the chorus, bouncing infectiously and enthusiastically. The vocals, with that oh-so-endearing Scottish lilt, are warm and welcoming and the beat is compulsive and shoulder-dancingly good.

We’re a fair way from summer but this festival ready synth-pop is already getting us in the mood.

”Born To Be Whole” is taken from the forthcoming Prides EP, ‘A Mind Like The Tide pt.2’ which is due for release on 30 March and available for pre-order here.

Get to know Prides: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Let’s Eat Grandma – “Hot Pink”

31 Jan

Following up their critically acclaimed and polarising debut album I, Gemini was always going to be an interesting challenge for Let’s Eat Grandma. They didn’t abide by any rules and were all the more exciting for it. Most of the tracks were written in their early teens and reflected an unfettered imagination and musical experimentation. Their ‘twins from the shining’ aesthetic could only last so long however, they would not remain 15 forever and their musical likes and influences would not remain static. To expect their sound to be the same on their return would be unrealistic, besides Rosa and Jenny have never been ones to stay still and look to replicate the same thing time and time again. Where’s the fun in that?

So it is with their incredible new single, “Hot Pink”. A song they say ”is about the misconceptions of femininity and masculinity and the power of embracing both of them. It’s about self-expression and appreciation for an underrated colour.” A song that takes everything you thought you knew about Let’s Eat Grandma and throws it out of the window. A song that will delight and dishearten their fans in equal measure and a song that provokes a ‘HOLY SHIT’ reaction on first listen (and again on many repeat plays).

Produced by labelmate SOPHIE, “Hot Pink” is a cacophonous riot of noise and energy. A laidback dreampop opening of soft, soulful and bold pastel coloured electronic melodies soon gives way to something more raw and industrial. Metal clangs into metal and glass shatters as Rosa and Jenny go through the looking glass and emerge as LEG 2.0.

Crisp digital beats, electro whirls and glitches clash with “Gett Off” era Prince like shrill shrieks and wails. The vocals harmonise, then duet then battle with one another. It’s discordant and abrasive, sounding like a hardcore underground German techno club mixed with the pulverisation of 8bit video game characters in a meat grinder. It’s intense and infectious.

That pastel dreampop melody swirls back into view before “Hot Pink” takes another left-turn and fades into a record skipping denouement.

Let’s Eat Grandma have never been ones to bow to expectation or conformity. Ever since they formed they have made the music they want to, the music that interests and excites them. On their debut album, this was experimental and bold, they let their imaginations run wild and delivered a record that challenged convention and rewarded listeners with remarkable, infectious and otherworldly songs. Anyone expecting the same from the pair on their return has clearly missed the point entirely and is also missing out on an incendiary and vibrant pop song as a result.

”Hot Pink” is out now and available to buy here

Get to know Let’s Eat Grandma:Facebook / Twitter

Sinephro – “Rosier”

30 Jan

Soft, stark, elegant and beguiling. The debut solo outing from Sinephro is three minutes of understated monochromatic electronic beauty.

Having collaborated with the likes of Blanda (on the seductive and warped jazz infused electro ”Relief”) in the past, Belgian singer/composer/producer Clara Sinephro has stepped out on her own with the utterly mesmeric “Rosier”.

The composition is stunning, layer upon layer of sound is woven together with precision and care. The melody trickles gently over the smooth echoes of the rhythm. Keys build like the sun rising over the horizon, lighting new elements as it does. Strings flicker, piano lines twinkle, harmonies twist and entwine as one and all the while, Clara’s soft vocal floats through “Rosier” like a mist.

As well as bewitching us with this stunning piece of electronica, Sinephro is currently working on a jazz album and there are definitely jazz elements at play here. The structured free-form nature of the arrangement, the blending of disparate sounds into one gorgeous whole, this is an artist who knows exactly what she is trying to do and how she wants to do it.

Soulful, smooth, cool and warm at the same time, with “Rosier” Sinephro has stepped forward and shown herself to be an artist well worth keeping an ear out for in the future.

Get to know Sinephro: Facebook

Maya Law – “Full Circle” (feat. Deacon & Gabriel Gifford) (Island Fox’s alternative atomic composite)

29 Jan

As a general rule, we at Alphabet Bands don’t really post remixes. Like all good rules though, they can be broken and we will happily make allowances for something incredible. This Island Fox reimagining of Maya Law’s latest single ticks the incredible box (and goes on to tick the amazing, stunning and remarkable boxes too).

“Full Circle” (also streaming below) was released earlier this month to much acclaim. The soulful collaboration with Maya’s longtime producer Gabriel Gifford (aka Allergy Kid) and Deacon showcases the very best of each individual involved. Crisp, head nodding, tripped out beats and smooth jazzy melodies melt into Maya’s swooning vocal and Deacon’s rich flow. It is a superb piece of low-fi hip-hop that will have you hooked in no time.

Which makes this Island Fox re-work all the more astounding. The track is taken to a whole new place, a place where organic and industrial come together as one symbiotic organism. There’s a otherworldly feeling to it, a vast sci-fi darkness that consumes “Full Circle” before breaking it down to its component parts and restructuring it into this magnificent cybernetic vision of life. A new intensity has been breathed into it, a compulsive urgency that is undeniable and irresistable. It swirls and stomps, crashes and twists, metal and electronics meeting earth and air and coming together as one. If Cylons made music, it could sound something like this.

So yes, we have rules about remixes but there are always exceptions to be made, and this ”alternative atomic composite” is truly exceptional.

Get to know Maya Law: Twitter
Get to know Deacon: Twitter
Get to know Allergy Kid: Website
Get to know Island Fox: Twitter