Tag Archives: Children Of Pop

Children of Pop – “U Won”

18 Dec

Children of Pop

One of the many things we love about the enigmatic and marvellous Children of Pop is its continual evolution and experimentation. When we first encountered them back in 2011 when we heard the languorous and liquid “Charge”. Since then they have played with psychedelic multi-coloured Claymation funk grooves (“I Know”) and creeping fog like melodies (“All This Love”). Their musical style, like battle, has been fluid since their inception and latest track “U Won” is no exception.

Like shards of light flickering through a cracked kaleidoscope, its fractured electronica stutters and jumps, casting shadows and creating intricate shapes on the floor. The melody is a barefoot walk on cold concrete, the chill making its way up through your leg as you move on, the icy distant vocals raise the hairs on your arms. It’s warped and distorted, bits and pieces being placed together like child making lego with no instructions. The end result seems confused and abstract yet makes perfect sense and is something clever and imaginative.

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What’s In the Box? – #3 – Album Review Special

26 Oct

Whats In The Box Album Review Special

The last few weeks at Alphabet Towers have been pretty much relentless. With much of our focus and energies being diverted to a hugely successful Norwich Sound and Vision Festival, our intended writings didn’t quite pan out as we meant them to.

There were loads of amazing albums released in September and October that we wanted to cover but time never allowed us to get round to. But we still wanted to say something about them so we happened upon a great idea (so we think anyway), why not break open the occasional What’s In The Box feature, and post a series of mini-reviews? To make things harder for ourselves (because where’s the fun in easy right?) we gave ourselves a word limit for each one.

So we have, and here it is, one post containing five 100 word reviews of albums we have enjoyed over the last few weeks, starting with an absolute cracker…

ChvrchesThe Bones Of What You Believe


Standing toe to toe with anything we’ve heard in the last 12 months, The Bones Of What You Believe is one of the most accomplished debut albums of recent years. Martin Doherty and Iain Cook wield sonic weapons like a pair of skittish electro-ninjas; flipping, kicking and letting loose shurikens of rapid beats and synth lines with deadly precision while Lauren Mayberry’s sweet emotive vocals rise up above them as if summoned by some mystical enchantress. As equally moving as it is energetic and fun, Chvrches have delivered an album that is, as they say, all killer and no filler.

Buy The Bones Of What You Believe

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HaimDays Are Gone

Haim Days Gone By

With Days Are Gone, BBC and Blog Sound of 2013 poll winners Haim easily maintained the high standards set by each preceding single. It’s a gleaming broach encrusted with gems of musical genres gone by. Highly polished stones of 90’s R&B, 80’s guitar bands and 70’s pop sparkle alongside one another. Given the amount of work that has clearly gone into making it, Days Are Gone sounds remarkably effortless and light, tracks dance along gleefully, not least the Jessie Ware penned title track which is one of many highlights, and everyone is welcome to jump on board and join in.

Buy Days Are Gone

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Summer CampSummer Camp

summer-camp summer-camp

Sophomore albums are supposed to be tricky and potentially career threatening. As they drive away from Condale, Summer Camp has plotted a route that avoids any pitfalls or hazards and has instead taken a picturesque journey to success. Filled with delicious indie-pop songs, emotional and entertaining tales of love and life, this is a showcase of increased confidence within the duo as they widen their already colourful palette. There is greater variety in musical style while never sacrificing the charm or infectiousness of their debut. Melodious, danceable, warm and fantastic; Summer Camp proves second albums don’t have to be difficult.

Buy Summer Camp

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MorcheebaHead Up High

Morcheeba Head Up High

They may not be hitting the heights of the sublime Big Calm these days, but their second album since the return of vocalist Skye Edwards sees Morcheeba embrace a willingness to experiment. The mainstream friendly darlings of the 90’s trip-hop scene, the trio have spread their wings and flown to new worlds in their latest release, Head Up High. Collaborations and disparate musical genres flow through the 12 tracks like rivers coming together to join the sea. Chali 2na, Rizzle Kicks and White Denim’s James Petralli are amongst the guests on a solid offering that long term fans will enjoy.

Buy Head Up High

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Children Of PopFiesta/Drift

Children of Pop Fiesta Drift

Music consumption has changed dramatically with the Skynet-like rise of the digital format meaning listeners often focus only on a single track rather than a body of work. It’s reassuring to know that there are still people out there making music the old fashioned way and with the liquid psychedelica of Fiesta/Drift, Houston’s Children Of Pop have done just that. Comprised of two distinct sides (one energetic and vibrant, one languid and restful) this long awaited debut swirls with melodies of marbled colours and smoke like vocals, but also jumps with groovy guitar lines and funked up beats, it’s fantastic.

Buy Fiesta/Drift

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Free Download: Children Of Pop – “All This Love”

6 Sep


You wait two years for a new Children Of Pop tune and lo and behold, two come along in the space of a couple of weeks. After the techo-coloured blaze of groovy guitars that swirled and jangled in ”I Know”, we are returned once more to the languid intangible mists from whence debut track, ”Charge” came from.

“All This Love” has an eerie liquidity about it, like a murky lagoon with imperceptible shapes swimming amongst the reeds and rocks below or an abandoned carousel, distressed and worn. The elements all blend and swirl together with the vocal reverberating like a tuning fork within fog. There is a playful darkness to it, a shadow behind the innocent emotion wrapped up in the rippling melody and repetitious vocals.

It’s beautifully creepy and we love it and the way the Children Of Pop sound never stays still. We can’t wait to hear what is coming next, and it looks like we might not have to wait too long to find out.

”All This Love” is currently available as a free download from the player below. It also appears to be taken from a forthcoming Children Of Pop album, ‘Fiesta/Drift’, which we believe will be released this month.

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Free Download: Children Of Pop – “I Know”

21 Aug


It’s been over two years since we heard from Children Of Pop when debut (and until now only) track ”Charge” was released online. A sublime piece of ethereal, languid and laidback chillwave, “Charge” was one of the most underrated and beautiful tracks of 2011. Now the Children (child?) are back at last with a brand new tune and the sound has evolved somewhat.

The sound may have changed, but the quality has not. We were really quite excited to learn there was a new Children Of Pop tune, and that excitement soon gave way to surprise about what we were hearing, but that too was replaced by excitement once more and delight about the all round awesomeness of the track.

“I Know” isn’t so much an icy mist like its predecessor, more a stop-motion animation made from techno-coloured, retro-modelling clay. The kind of clay that pre-dated safety regulations and could send you higher than Lucy in the Sky on a quick whiff of the fumes. ”take control of your body” the song urges, but that is easier said and done. Especially as psychedelic shapes and images flashing before your eyes as the groovy guitar riffs play amongst the plasticine soundscapes, gnawing on your funky bone (the one that makes your feet tap involuntarily).

Get “I Know” as a free download below or on ‘pay what you like’ from the Children Of Pop bandcamp and let your funky bone do it’s thing.

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Reasons to be cheerful, 2012.

1 Jan

Like most sites, we’ve spent a reasonable amount of time looking back at 2011, but, the year is now nothing more than history, like Katy Perry and Russell Brand, it’s done now. Sure we’ll look back with fondness at some parts but there can be no denying that it is over, finito, ended, finished, defunct, obsolete, history.

So goodbye 2011, it was fun while it lasted, but now we look ahead. Like a sea captain gazing out to the horizon, staring out at what lies ahead, and more importantly, what there is to get excited about. Rather than drag out the lame analogies and similes, here is a list of artists we are looking forward to hearing more from in 2012, because people love lists.

  • The Avalanches
  • We could make a joke using their album title, Since I Left You, about how long it’s been but quite frankly, we’re too excited at the prospect of their return to come up with any lame puns.

  • Juan Zelada
  • Juan has come such a long way since we first saw him in Hoxton at the end of 2010 and yet he remains as humble and charming as ever. Look out for our interview with him in the next few days.

  • Conveyor
  • One of our favourite new finds of 2011, their EP was in our Top 5 of the year and we can’t wait for a full length release.

  • Lana Del Rey
  • Hipster backlash be damned, Ms Del Rey has released some fine little pop songs. Will the album live up to the promise of her singles? We’ll find out soon enough.

  • Kites
  • One of the most exciting new bands in the UK right now, hopefully we will get confirmation of a record deal for the guys soon and a full album later in the year.

  • Delphic
  • It’s been two long years since Acolyte but the boys have been talking on Twitter about their new tracks. Come on!

  • SUNBEARS! Vinyl
  • Possibly the most beautiful piece of wax we’ve ever seen.

  • Children of Pop
  • They’ve only released one track so far but it was a doozy.

  • Cutback
  • Norwich’s finest indie-rock trio. They told us last year that there were new tracks in the offing for 2012, hopefully sooner rather than later.

  • …Of Diamonds
  • Another band from Norwich, three young ladies making brilliant harmonious synth-pop. We hope to catch them live soon.

  • The Lemonheads
  • Playing Its A Shame About Ray, live, and in full!! Oh yes.

    We can’t wait. Happy New Year everyone.