Saturday, 18 February 2012

Anomie Belle - Slither

Anomie Belle’s new single, ‘Slither’, follows November’s ‘Machine’, a single widely cited as an important part of the soundtrack to Occupy Wall Street. ‘Slither’, a collaboration with Sneaker Pimps’ Ian Pickering, suggests she's since got her hands on some chill pills - this one's much less urgent, a new age, floating down the river kind of track. Frictionless and sleek in its dynamics, it’s both unchallenging and subtly sophisticated.

Belle chews her words in a strange sort of way, with tones, pronunciations, and articulations the conventional singer wouldn’t go near. In a way it’s very similar to what Joanna Newsom does, but in place of Joanna’s folky innocence Anomie has a cool similar to Bajka (known for her work on Bonobo’s ‘Days To Come’).
‘Slither’ might not have the punch of protest that ‘Machines’ brandished, but its understated presence has a tender, almost surreal beauty. With its gentle gongs and House Of Flying Daggers strings towards the end, this is the sort of track Buddhist monks would be swaying to if they’d entered the iPod age.

Stressechoes - Bitter Acoustic Noise EP

In last month’s MAG review I teased Rufio Summers for naming his EP ‘Over It’ – an ironic choice, I suggested, for an EP that’s arguably a bit of a blubfest. It seems my sardonicisms can extend to February – the first chorus of Stressechoes’ ‘Bitter Acoustic Noise EP’, this month’s choice, appropriates a questionably relevant Dr Johnson quote most will recognize from Hunter S. Thompson’s ‘Fear and Loathing and Las Vegas’: “he who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man”. Artistic license and abstract interpretations considered, it’s still hard to understand why these guys would pick said quote to introduce an EP that’s only a few jaunty riffs and a twinkle-in-the-eye away from being Cheltenham’s resident authority on ‘the pain of being a man’. Someone call a shrink: Gloucestershire is in denial!