Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wow factor

We write about and talk up a lot of new bands on here, but such is the way of modern music and its easy availability and eagerness to please that those that sound genuinely fresh and difficult to pigeonhole... well, they deserve their own post. The suddenly getting big in blogland six months after we first featured them (but as part of chillwave? Pah!) Under Alien Skies got one, The Second Hand Marching Band (playing a very special show in Glasgow tonight) got one, and now here's another one.

Presenting Wap Wap Wow. They're a Peckham based nonet who played a tiny stage at Glastonbury, are rumoured to have Moshi Moshi after their very souls and have recently been working with Yannis Phillipakis and Jonquil's Hugo Manuel (who incidentally does this in his downtime, and inevitably seems to be getting wider press for it than anything Jonquil have done) behind the desk of Foals' own studio. Their leader is called Rose Dagul, which after our recent post about namealikes we find vaguely amusing. Forget that.

And leave aside the Foals associations, because it's Jonquil, at least before they turned tropical, that you need to keep in mind here, similarly sounding similarly like some art-folk minded people who got together in a bedroom to create something fantastical, dizzying and haunted. Their seven people credited with vocals plus two violinists and two cellists give away much of their choral folk mini-chamber orchestra nature, but the looping high emotive harmonies and Owen Pallett-recalling pizzicato plucks place feet equally in the freakish wave of avant-folk and the Unthankian traditional without becoming too complacent in either camp. For examples of what we mean, listen to the demo - rough demo! - of To Myself At Fifteen, driven by racing drums and Hermann strings atop which is Dagul's mighty, vaguely Denny-like voice against the gale force, or The Round, something almost hypnotic coming to play based on loops of handclaps and mouth percussion before an unexpected step into music business satire. They're not part of this week's hipster thing, they're very much setting their own agenda, and on currently available evidence we're glad of it. They play Catch in Shoreditch on August 3rd before going back into the studio, and how this all works live, both audibly and visually, will be fascinating. Here's a decent hint, though, recorded on home turf in May.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...