The sun is out in force, brows beaded in sweat, tongues beaded in ice cream. As a breather the song picks here will defy any summery expectations. There are no BBQ Bangers, no stereotypical feelgood vibes, but while there is a melancholy, realistic air about the three songs here, at least it will make you feel good that music can be studied, thought provoking and artistic.
BOO – “Perfect Wreck”
Brighton based BOO (Battery Operated Orchestra) return with their new album, Snare (out August 10) and they have teased a couple of singles this month to whet the appetite.
Brigitte Rose and Chris Black have been proud purveyors of DIY synthpop since 2010 and are as inspired by ABBA as they are by DEVO. Their newer cold war-inspired songs promise a darker edge where synths provide paranoid smoky textures and buzz like spyplanes. “Perfect Wreck” is what Blondie would have sounded like if they had hung out in late 1970s Sheffield rather than New York. BOO have an appealing analog authenticity and their style recalls the air of discovery (and thus naivety) of many of the early synthpop twiddlings like those found on the Some Bizzare compilation
Saatsuma – Overflow
Saatsuma is a Melbourne-based collaborative project from producers and composers Memphis LK and Cesar Rodrigues. Their mix of seductiveelectro-pop and trip-hop comes alive with this new video for the title track of last year’s EP.
Pulsing synths gently nudge the song along despite the theme of losing control. The synthetic voices flitter and tease while the main vocal is soulful. The video has a conflicting narrative, showing how the alternatives of freedom and isolation can connect.
Akine – Pray for the Prey
‘I don’t believe in god / nor his angels / nor his disciples / he’s a stranger / he’s subliminal / not my father, not my leader of all / leaves the dirty to get dirtier / and wipes the clean’ are pretty hard-hitting lyrics at any time. But when they come from a 13-year old, you have to delve deeper. Now aged 17, Ukrainian Akine has released this song which was written when war hit her native country.
Sang with an assured, yet world-weary tone and a maturity above her years, it’s a gripping 3-minute ride. Though it has a pounding backing in the vein of Bastille (who recently championed her online) and a Eurovision-friendly style chorus, there is more to the song than simply aiming to appeal. The conflict saw her relatives displaced, losing homes and livelihoods. ‘It was painful to see the country I love falling apart and my family suffering as a consequence.’ she says. ‘This song captures what I felt at that moment in time.’