Tag Archives: Orchestral Electronica

Review: Polaroid 85 – Escapist EP

7 Jun

Polaroid 85 Escapist

It’s been over a year since we were first bewitched by the multi-stylistic electronica of London based musical collective, Polaroid 85. The three tracks of their debut Fuzzy Mornings EP were played over and over, and then over and over some more while we waited for more. Eventually the promise came, more music soon, a new EP in 2013 and like a blog Brad and Janet to a Polaroid 85 Frank ‘N’ Furter, we shivered with antici…

…pation at the prospect of new music and we waited patiently. Then waited some more. While time has flown by this year it has felt like it has stood still as well, the clock seemingly never ticking closer to the reveal. Then eventually, at last, an announcement. An EP, Escapist would be released in June, the wait was almost over. Now came the excitement and expectation, and the nagging feeling that absence had made the heart’s fondness exaggerated beyond what was reasonable. Had we allowed Fuzzy Mornings to acquire a God like status in our mind? Had its beauty become mythical in our remembrance and did Escapist even stand a chance to match up?

Deep breath, press play, take it all in. Pause, regroup, press play again, and again, and again.
Relax. It’s a triumph.

The sounds of Escapist are both reassuringly familiar yet sufficiently different from its predecessor to offer both a comforting embrace and a heart quickening moment of passion. It is more mature, more cohesive and coherent than Fuzzy Mornings, each track feels more rounded, broader and more varied. The intricacy remains, layers of sound entwine and dance together as one; orchestral arrangements, jazz flourishes, drum and bass, glitchy electronica, breakbeats, trip-hop; all live a symbiotic existence to produce cool, swirling marbled soundscapes. “The Time” and “Freefall” in particular have the liquidity of sound that we fell so in love with before, but with a new element, an added sense of delicate urgency played out through the elaborate drum patterns beneath.

More than any other, “The Birds” showcases a perhaps under-appreciated element of Polaroid 85, the lyrical content. It is easy to get lost in such sublime musical arrangements but “The Birds” cleverly shifts focus back and shifts the sound. Tori Amos like, the piano glides alongside Neeta’s velveteen vocals, occasional woodwind embellishments add to the softness before the strings come and lift us higher. To all intents and purposes it is Polaroid 85’s pop song.

It’s been a long time coming but unquestionably Escapist has been worth the wait. Each of the five tracks beguiles the listener and transports them to a world of soothed and invigorated bliss. Press play and let the music carry you away.

The ‘Escapist’ EP is released on 9 June on Reel Me Records.

Read More: ’P’ is for Polaroid 85.

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Watch: Polaroid 85 – “Freefall” Live Studio Session

12 Feb

Polaroid 85 Live Sessions

We’ve been banging on about hearing some new music from Polaroid 85 for what feels like an absolute age and finally (yes!) we have some to share with you.

A couple of weeks back we shared the first of a number of specially recorded live studio sessions by the band, and hypothesised that the final video in the series would be a big reveal of new music. We are certainly no Poirot and they’ve only gone and made us look a bit daft by releasing a brand new track for their second video. We’d shake our fist and act all indignant but frankly we are far too busy getting our blissful groove on.

“Freefall” is a little bit busier than we have been used to from Polaroid 85 but it still features the collective’s exquisite and intricate layered sounds, as well as some tight-as-you-like live drumming. That’s one thing we love about these guys, the way they blend a lot of live instrumentalism with a little bit of programming and digital chicanery. As opposed to lot a of artists who go the other way these days. Here the process is used to create a delicious musical sandwich; the filling of vibrant beats is surrounded by (below) deep strings and synths that slowly drive forward, and (above) Neeta’s doleful vocals which float and glide atop the frenetic energies below.

It is, as we have come to expect, a fantastic track and one that bodes very well indeed for the new (as yet unannounced, untitled, unlikely to be released in time to sate our gargantuan appetite) EP.

Take a listen below, go download the “Fuzzy Mornings” EP for free (if you haven’t already), and hit them up on a multitude of social media platforms to tell them how great it is.

Read More: ’P’ is for Polaroid 85.

Stalk Polaroid 85: Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud / You Tube

Watch: Polaroid 85 – “Fuzzy Mornings” Live Studio Session

22 Jan

Polaroid 85 Live Sessions

2012 was relatively quiet for Polaroid 85 but towards the end of the year the London based collective started to tease us with talk of new music and a new EP. That teasing reached a new level over the weekend when they reportedly debuted a new track at their first gig of the year. We weren’t their unfortunately, so we have to take their word for it.

In the meantime though they have kicked off a series of very special live studio sessions they filmed as the year closed out. The first one is for the fantastically chilled out “Fuzzy Mornings” from the EP of the same name (which remains free to download via Bandcamp) and we hope, though it is just guesswork on our behalf, that it will culminate with something new.

Can you tell we are little desperate to hear their new work?

Here’s the video.

Read More: ’P’ is for Polaroid 85.

Stalk Polaroid 85: Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud / You Tube

2013 Preview: Listen Out For – Polaroid 85

19 Nov

At the turn of the year, we ran a short piece on things we were looking forward to in 2012, which looked at bands who were due to come back or release more material. It was just a little bit of fun and something we thought we’d do again this year. Except, inspired by our participation in the Blog Sound of 2013 poll (more details to come soon here and via Breaking More Waves), we thought we’d mix it up a bit this time round and, over the next three weeks, look at 15 artists we are looking forward to hearing more from next year. These aren’t necessarily artists we are saying will be huge in 12 months time, more ones we love, can’t wait to hear more from and who we think deserve to make more of a splash over the coming year.

First up is a one of our own Alphabet Bands, a seven-piece who made the hair stand up on the back of our neck when we first heard them, Polaroid 85.

2012 was relatively quiet for the London based collective but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been busy. As well as indulging in a variety of solo projects, the group have been performing across the country at increasingly high profile and interesting gigs, including one at the Eden Project, as well as recording an acoustic cover of the SBTRKT song, “Wildfire”.

More importantly, they have been writing and recording new music and readying it for release. Even as recently as last night, the band was uploading a new track and getting excited about sharing it. Not, it has to be said, as we are about hearing it. Their own profile has risen slightly over the last 12 months despite not releasing any new material and it should continue to grow with support from a multitude of specialist BBC Radio stations and online coverage.

Their blend of orchestral and digital hasn’t left our MP3 player since we first heard it. The high-end chill out sound is just stunning, with Neeta’s gentle vocals tripping over the combination of strings, wind, brass, beats, samples and synths. We adore the Fuzzy Mornings EP and are hungry for more.

2013 should see our wish come true with more Polaroid 85 material hitting the airwaves in the form of a new EP for us to share and love.

Download the Fuzzy Mornings EP for free via Bandcamp

Read More: ’P’ is for Polaroid 85.

Stalk Polaroid 85: Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud / You Tube

‘P’ is for Polaroid 85

23 Feb

Have you ever had that experience where you hear a new band, and you just have to hear more? You seek out and devour all they have to offer and still you are not sated? Still you yearn, you crave, and you desire more, more, more. You understand what we mean don’t you? We mean music that just excites you to the extent that it practically lives on your stereo.

Yeah, that’s how we felt when we first heard Polaroid 85. The hairs on the back of our neck started to tingle and there was a quickening of our pulse. This seven-piece from London, who excel at their blend of orchestral electronic, a sort of high-end chill out sound if you will, are really something special. Strings, wind, brass, beats, samples and synths all play a prominent part in an incredible aural experience.

Formally known simply as Neeta, after singer-songwriter-producer Neeta Sarl, the collective (the nomenclature is their own btw) fuses a myriad of disparate sounds, styles and feelings into a single form of sonic magnificence. The blend of the orchestral and digital can leave your head spinning, like you’re slightly dizzy from standing up too fast. The smooth as silk vocals are complemented perfectly with the softness of the woodwind sound, which in turn is juxtaposed with down-tempo, break beats. At times it’s like listening to drum and bass played at half speed whilst Classic FM is on another stereo nearby. That may sounds ridiculous, but it is actually divine.

There is so much going on it is almost absurd, yet never does it feel like there is too much to cope with. The number of ingredients used may be somewhat intimidating, but they each set off one another superbly.

Alas, it did not take us long to devour all that Polaroid 85 currently has to offer, as there is only a three track EP, the Fuzzy Mornings EP available right now, but the band has promised a couple of new tracks in the near future. Rest assured, we will keep you posted as and when we get more details.

In the meantime you can download the Fuzzy Mornings EP for free via Bandcamp

Connect with Polaroid 85.

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