If you like your music to be swimming in atmosphere and beautiful aesthetics then this duo, from Kingston-Upon-Thames in South West London, may well bring you the mood you’ve been looking for. Imagine a world where you’re lost and suffering a host of unfamiliar feelings. Welcome to the uncomfortable, dramatic theatre of Alpines.
The first murmurs of their music drifted past us towards the latter end of last year, following the selection of their song, Drive, that Rankin used in a wonderful video for the fashion designer Hannah Marshall (see below). The resulting magnificent teaser gets your heart rate cowering behind the sofa with equal amounts of fear and intrigue.
You will find the demo of Drive on their Soundcloud and Myspace, but it was also officially released as a download through iTunes last Sunday (12th February). It’s a great showcase of their talents, with their brooding, heavy atmospherics accompanying Catherine Pockson’s gorgeous vocals, reminding us of La Roux‘s Elly Jackson at her strongest. The added bonus of a Kiteshi remix on the single adds a thumping dubstep pace, alongside some squelching electronics, bringing lasers across the otherwise dark landscape.
You would imagine vocals that feel as equally smooth and comforting as they are perilous and haunting, are enough on their own, but they also choose to sample them, utilising them in a way that adds subtle theatrics to each track. It reminds us of Emika, in that the vocals are imaginatively delivered over the serene synths of Bob Matthews, (who you may have seen in the now defunct indie bands, Blue Screen Life and Right Turn Left).
The full EP, Night Drive, will be released on March 28th, on Polydor. Having been signed to a major label you can expect to see a lot more of this pair throughout this year, as the campaign gets in full swing. We’re also aware that they have been added to the excellent rosters of both the PR firm Radar Maker, as well as the booking agent Coda, so they’re in good hands.
With every new arrival in the UK’s ever-increasing gloomy scene, following the success of the The XX and more recently with James Blake, we get an increased focus on the art, style and ambiance that accompanies it, so as you click through to the band’s photos and particularly with their excellent collection of images on their blog, you will notice that Alpines are up and running with a determined style. It’s perhaps no surprise with Catherine being a qualified arts graduate. If this dark genre that they’re starting to claim as ‘night pop’ is going to continue to dominate our iPods in 2011, then Alpines should prove yet another classy addition to the mood makers.
ALPINES – DRIVE
ALPINES – ICE & ARROWS