We all sit up and pay attention to the opinion of Domino Records, what they deem worthy of presenting us with will make us listen with keen ears, attention rapt. They are after all home to Arctic Monkeys, The Kills and Wild Beasts.
Gathered in the charmingly grotty Barfly in Camden, (I mean it as a compliment, like that pair of knickers that have seen better days but you keep going back to) we are here to be bear witness to who they are touting as “the ones to watch” for 2012.
Trailer Trash Tracy’s are steadily and subtlety seeping into your conscious (‘You Wish You Were Red‘ appears in the latest Renault advert; tracks from debut album Ester receive regular airplay on home of all decent music 6 Music). There album has been my soundtrack to late nights in bed, blanket pulled over my lap, book in hand.
In terms of sound the band are note perfect this evening, you cannot find fault in the quality of lo-fi, sleepy drones and the steady heartbeat of the drums floating over the crowds head. Whether its nerves from a band on the cusp of becoming brilliant or an intentional removed “cool” the bands performance makes you feel distanced from what you want to feel connected to (the beauty of seeing a band live but perhaps what they desire).
Lead singer Suzanne Renlund keeps her eyes firmly focused at a distant point behind the audience, never breaking her gaze. In return for this aloof, other worldly performance ironically all eyes fall on her.
If their music reaches the awkward and painfully shy teenagers across the world I imagine her voice will soothe them on the lonely nights, a gentle friend to help them tip toe to better days. I’ll be interested to see them again twelve months down the line to see how and indeed if, they adapt their live performance.
Eugene McGuiness has been rebranded by a turned up collar, a tooth pick hanging slack from the corner of his mouth and a ton of Brylcreem to sculpt his previous indie mop into a neat quiff. A mini Morrissey style. What was an understated indie boy back in 2007 now emerges looking the same age (somehow) but slicker.
The songs are tighter, harder and catchier than previous tracks and seem to fit this new character. There is more confidence, a slight swagger and cockiness without crossing that line into (heaven forbid) the Gallagher’s doomed and outdated personas.
An anticipated second album is not yet released but if it can hold up the scratching, spitting Lions he’ll be one to keep an eye on all year.
Here is the video to his latest song Shotgun, directed by Grammy-nominated, Sundance-shortlisted Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern (thirtytwo).
Photos copyright James Hammick and used with permission.