Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Naked - Youth Mode EP

Agnes Gryczkowska, Alex Johnston and Grant Campbell are Naked.  We've been following them for a while, as they have connections with other bands that have featured here (Edinburgh School for the Deaf (I have an ESFTD tote bag on my wall - thank you Jamie), Deserters Deserve Death and St. James Infirmary).  But Naked sheds the primary features of the those projects like discarded clothes.  Where Edinburgh School for the Deaf was blood and bombast, seething passion occasionally accented by moments of sweet jangle, Naked creates a minimalist soundscape consisting of restrained guitar, stately bass, bright shards of synths, and airy, tantalizing vocals.  We were very impressed with two previously released songs, "In Heaven" and "Lie Follows Lie", and now welcome the band's debut EP, Youth Mode.

And simple beauty of the five songs on Youth Mode does, indeed, make the past irrelevant.  Warm, yet mysterious, with pulsing rhythms and fulsome melodies too buoyant to be considered drone. but with vocals too low in the mix to be considered pop.  It is its own genre -- a delightful fusion of the electronic machines and the trio manipulating them.  For me, standout tracks include "Memory Almost Full" and "Voyeur", but all of the tracks reveal distinctive charms.  Naked can take their place alongside Young Fathers and Law at the forefront of exciting Edinburgh-based musicians.  There will be an album in 2016, but that is a long time away.  We recommend Youth Mode now.

Youth Mode is out now via LuckyMe Records.  It is available in vinyl and digital formats.

LuckyMe Records

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