Yeah, we realise that the discerning amongst you may have noticed us bigging up the Southampton music scene quite a bit recently, and you may well be fed up of it – it doesn’t help the war on geography, y’know? But whilst the South coast continues to produce acts as marvellous as Birdpen then there’s little to be done but praise them. And this newest of demos doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the lads’ bleak electronic mini-anthems and Warp-indebted post-glitch beauty.
All three of these tracks have something of the darkly-skewed pop ambience about them. Take, for instance, the opening track ‘Fake Kid’, which starts off like a bass-heavy Boards of Canada with brooding lyrics before introducing twitching, glitch-ing acoustic guitar and then climbing to a swirl of electro-indie marvellousness. If ‘A round of applause for a great disaster’ was handed to me as a white label I could have sworn that Beta Band had reformed and were moodier than ever, which for the listener is no bad thing. And, as ‘Huron’ successfully demonstrates, these two are pretty good at epic, slow-burning ‘soundscapes’, cold beats complimented by warm vocals, and the reverb-drenched trip-pop becoming as close to hypnotic as music this fiercely ambient usually does. There’s also a homemade video for ’10,000 Dead Stars’ featured here, but if the thought of a silhouette with bloodshot eyes cinematically torturing a bleeding Andrew WK look-alike leaves you in a cold sweat, then best stay away from it…
Not so much chill-out, then, as ‘chill-down’, or something that can be as thoughtful as it is enthralling. If you like your music sinister but gorgeous then they can’t be recommended enough – why not try it yourself?
8Thomas Blatchford's Score