130604-alunageorge-body-music

AlunaGeorge met in 2009 after producer George Reid remixed Aluna Francis’ band My Toys Like Me. After My Toys Like Me split up George and Aluna started working on music together, finally finding their futuristic R&B formula in 2011, they went on to be the most blogged about band of 2012 and were number 2 on the BBC’s Sound of 2013 list. In January of this year the band announced their debut album “Body Music” and it’s finally here.

The album opens with Aluna’s gentle vocals backed by the click-clack of R&B drums and a slowly shifting harmony played by an electric piano. In the final third of ‘Outlines’  a descending detuned synth effect and heavily reverbed vocals enter to take the song to its climax ‘You Know You Like It’ combines heavy electronic drums and deep electro synth bass that back Aluna’s twisting and turning vocals and an 8-bit computer game melody. Aluna’s vocals own the great pop chorus of this tune. ‘Attracting Flies’ opens with muted rhythm guitar blasts and a squawking synth melody. The chorus is chock full of blocky synths and Aluna’s irresistible pop hook all held together with a nice synth bass line. Another early highlight is ‘Your Drums, Your Love’ with its reverb heavy synthetic atmospherics that back pitched down & up vocals before Aluna enters smouldering. There’s a smooth synth transitions into a full & melodic chorus.

‘Diver’ features descending synth melody and sparse drums and is swiftly joined by an ascending counterpoint synth and Aluna’s lead vocal. Later in the track there are some drums that reminded me of Squarepusher or Aphex Twin at their 90’s peak. ‘Superstar’ combines a Timbaland-esque synth riff with Flying Lotus style bells and atmosphere before that gives way to sparse drums, an interesting Oriental melody kicks in for the chorus. ‘Just A Touch’ and ‘Friends to Lovers’ utilise G-Funk synths to on contrast takes the former combining it with a heavily filtered glitch riff and Flying Lotus style chorus and the latter taking the form of a slow jam. I loved the wet slap of the snare in the final third of ‘Friends to Lovers’. The album closes with an excellent cover of Montell Jordan’s ‘This Is How We Do It’ keeping the original’s swagger but updating its sound.

All-in-all AlunaGeorge have produced an excellent modern pop album that references classic 90’s hip-hop, L.A. beat scene maestro Flying Lotus and the finest work of Warp Records most critical acclaimed acts e.g. Aphex Twin, Squarepusher and Boards of Canada without alienating their pop audience.

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