Tag Archives: Dance

The Penelopes – “Time To Shine” (free download)

25 Apr

The Penelopes Time To Shine

Ever have the feeling that your life has been building up to something? Have you ever had the sense that everything that has happened to you has been to bring you to this one particular point? The universe has been guiding you and that now you are here; it is your time, your future and your moment. From the sounds of their new single, The Penelopes certainly have.

Their love of pop and a burning desire to make people dance has seen them journey from their humble beginnings just outside Paris, travel around the world putting on storming live shows and release a vibrant and infectious debut album. With that and a stonkingly popular remix of The Cure having created momentum, the universe has delivered Axel Basquiat and Vincent T. exactly where they need to be. Now it is their “Time To Shine”.

Capturing the effervescent and energetic spirit of their live shows, this new single perfectly captures that feeling of being ready to step up, the confidence and swagger of knowing this is it. Everything starts now. “Time To Shine” is five minutes of uplifting and powerful electro-pop. Like a rallying cry before battle it is rousing, it inspires belief that anything is possible. The synths and guitars drive forward, pulsating and pushing you on to greatness with the passion filled Bonnie Tyler-eqsue backing vocals just adding to the feeling that your dreams are within your grasp.

It is a fantastic morale-boosting tune. Balls to looking in the mirror and calling yourself a tiger before an interview, stick on “Time To Shine” and as your confidence rises you’ll be ready to take on all comers. The world is your lobster, go get it!

”Time To Shine” is available as a free download from the Soundcloud player below.


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Listen: The Khanz – “Deerhunter”

17 Jan

The Khanz - Deerhunter

When we last encountered The Khanz, we described the sound of “Falling Apart” as like a Kraken emerging from an agitated abyss of emotion. Since then the Kraken has clearly decided not only to surface, but to hop ashore, fling on some Bermuda shorts (not sure how that would work), drink some beers, pop some disco biscuits and head off on jaunt down the seafront. No doubt stopping to play at the arcade, grab some candy floss and quite possibly insult a few passersby on the way.

There is no slow build, no sense of foreboding or doom, of a life that should be better but isn’t. No, this is a much more lively and infectious affair. It’s a bouncy cocktail of indie-pop, dance and a general care-free attitude. Yet the fun and frivolity in the sound masks the message within, and we know there is a message because while The Khanz like to enjoy themselves when making and playing music, they are not a pink wafer band (pink wafers have no nutritional value you see, we’re sure it’ll catch on as a descriptor in due course). They are about putting issues front and centre, as they did with “Falling Apart” and also with “Prescription Culture” beforehand.

Here they are looking at the confusion, uncertainty and general head-fuckery of sexual self-discovery. “I like that boy but that boy likes girls” they sing before putting Blur to shame with their convoluted connections of boys and girls, boys and boys, girls and girls, boys like me, girls like me etc. “So just forget it, if it’s not your feeling, don’t pretend you’re into it, because then I’ll think it’s worth it, and it’s not worth it.”

Just like adolescence, it is as confusing as anything. But unlike adolescence, it sounds fantastic and is full of highpoints only. No wonder that Kraken is getting his groove on by the beach.


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Listen: St Vincent – “Digital Witness”

8 Jan

St Vincent

We were already pretty psyched for the new St Vincent album when we heard the skittish, discordant fabulousness that was “Birth In Reverse”, but we didn’t expect what came next, and now we are even more excited than before.

Also taken from the forthcoming eponymous album, “Digital Witness” is a psychedelic video screen of bright, spiralling, flashing colour type track; a brash foot stomping neon disco-funk type dance track. There’s some Prince flamboyance and synth exuberance in there, infectious horn sections that vibe across from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to P-Funk and back. It’s quite poppy, quite dancey, quite unerringly catchy and a little unsettling. But holy crap it is good. Just listen as the bass pumps and the guitars jumps sporadically into fuzzy life as if jerked by a defibrillator.

There are a bunch of hooks, all craving for your attention and adoration and each of them winning a little piece of you until your whole belongs to St Vincent. Keep listening, again and again, and we reckon your vision will be filled with images of lava lamps, disco lights and a flare-wearing Annie silhouette whizzing by, spinning and hypnotising you.

No, not what we expected but we bloody love it.

’St Vincent’ is out on 24 February and can be pre-ordered here.


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2014 Preview: Listen Out For #12 – NONONO

29 Nov

NoNoNo

We continue our 2014 preview series with a band we’ve actually never featured before on Alphabet Bands, shame on us, but one who is surely going to blow up in the next 12 months. To be fair, NONONO haven’t exactly slunk through 2013 without any attention, their insanely catchy dance-pop collecting plaudits from the likes of Popjustice and being synched all over the place.

Being Swedish (seriously, what do they drink over there that means they can all make such glorious pop music, and can we have some please?) you’d expect greatness, but as two-thirds of the group spent 10 years as hip-hop producers, you might not have expected it to come in this form. We’re bloody glad it has though. Comparisons to Niki & the Dove are unsurprising given how damn catchy their music is, how steeped in pop history it is and how little flickers of darkness creep in around the edges of otherwise dazzling colours.

“Pumpin Blood” is the track that has broken out everywhere, with its ‘gets under your skin’ whistle. You may not know it, but you would probably recognise it. Big and brash, vibrant and frenetic, it’s the seven dwarves whistling while they work having dropped some acid and taken speed. “Like The Wind” is darker, like a beautiful sorceress in her castle of ice, looking out over the land she rules with a gloved hand of evil and magic and who you can’t take your eyes off.

The buzz is there for NONONO, the tunes are there, the ambition and desire is there and, when their debut album comes (supposedly in early 2014) success and critical acclaim will surely follow.


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Review: Suzuki/Method – Native EP

25 Oct

Suzuki Method Native

A few years ago, before this blog developed into the site it is today, we heard and fell in love with an album by a band from Manchester. That album helped pave the way for a resurgence in a hybrid indie-dance-rock-pop sound that saw guitars, synths, electronics and beats go head to head in a battle for the ages. Our ears were buzzing with excitement and it’s a sound we’ve found ourselves coming back to time and time again in a legion of different guises. One of the latest guises comes from another Manchester band (Salford to be precise) Suzuki/Method who have dipped into the Delphician well and enlisted their producer David Tolan (as well as Jim Spencer) to work with them on this debut EP, Native.

Each of the five tracks is crackling with energy and has more hooks than a ‘Villains of Peter Pan’ convention. Drawing from the heritage of Manchester and beyond, dance fuses with pop fuses with rock fuses with funk fuses with, well you get the idea. It’s like a trip through electro pop history from Kraftwerk to Delphic via Duran Duran (and bands beginning with other letters as well). Electronics tumble and shatter while digital and analogue flourishes and accoutrements’ embellish and add depth to the drum-bass-guitar combo.

The band, comprised of brothers Adam and Glen Leishman as well as Michael Mathews, David Boyd and Ben Hounslow, came together during the Salford riots to make the EP, so it stands to reason that Native should be a powder keg of adrenalin and energy. “Sherbet” is like flying through a rainbow of sounds, it is to music what the Holi Festival is to colour; vibrant, crazy and frenetic. It’s a euphoric celebration hidden at the bottom of a bassline.

Similarly frantic is “Cruel To Be Kind”, an urgent, blood pumping song that races like the cheetah chasing down the fleeing antelope as the song is evolving. Drums outstripping bass, vocals surging past both and then an electronic mutation gives it the edge, bringing the antelope down, a phylogeny of music in just over 4 minutes shown in full HD.

The pace never abates, tracks simply hand the baton on to the next leg of this lightening quick relay. “Country Cousins”, “Strangelet” and “You Asked For The Moon And You Got It” drive along at breakneck speed, all compulsive and danceable. But the whole thing is a bit like that, a chemistry lesson of an EP, a myriad of multi-coloured sonic potions and powders are fizzing and flashing everywhere you look, making your pulse quicken with excitement.

’Native’ is out now and is available to buy here.


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