Before today Battlekat were a band that had no name, simply referring to themselves as ‘Just A Number 05272011′, in a rather odd piece of mystery. Artists are selecting to arrive shrouded in secrecy on a regular basis these days, withholding details, names and faces from the over-saturated environment that is today’s Internet. It seems to serve a few purposes, most notably as a gimmicky marketing tool which causes the public and the media to discuss the intrigue, but it also allows the music to earn the early focus.
In this particular case the music was worthy of a post, as a few bloggers have before today, but we choose to hold back in order to avoid a meandering piece of impatient editorial. Instead we assumed that the number referred to a date and so we waited until today to see what was revealed. Rather disappointingly, absolutely no new tunes or any particular details were unveiled, only the revelation of a band name. How boring. It’s not even that good a name, so we’re not sure why they chose to build up such anticipation.
At this stage there’s still very little detail actually known about the band, but we’ve been reliably informed that the group are a four piece (three boys, one girl) from Denmark, adding another excellent edgy pop band to the growing list of enjoyable artists being served to us from Scandinavia. Early rumours of Karin Dreijer Andersson being involved circulated initially, but that’s due to their female vocals occasionally sounding like a burnt out version of those we’ve witnessed with Karin’s band, The Knife, or her solo project, Fever Ray. We now know this isn’t the case, however there’s barely any other new information, so we’re still stuck with very little oxygen in the editorial atmosphere, leaving the biggest carrot in this case to ultimately still be the fantastic music.
The Scandinavian pop in this instance has the usual stamps, being sung in English, feeling ice cool to the touch as the pop fizzes with energy and a suitably left-field, alternative edge. The track Business begins with a driving beat and some weighty synths, more akin to New York-based HeartsRevolution, but it evolves into something altogether more melodic and warm as the layers are introduced, particularly once the male vocals get involved. Ultimately what starts as a racing trickle ends with a marching flow that feels full and rounded.
Their first sneeze on the viral campaign was He Didn’t Want A Love Song, delivering an addictive shot of a chorus, which is a skill they’ve clearly mastered. The same can be said for the other tune on offer, The Pain, which has an entirely different atmosphere to Business, like different acts of the same play, this time beginning with more of a walking pace before it finds the voices joining up. It’s here that they seem at their best, with a richer flavour when combining the vocals, punctuating the fried female voice like a peppermint gum to her stylish acidity. It’s another shining example of them being able to twist and turn within a song, as if they’re unfolding stories for you.
Apparently their first single will be out on a well-respected British indie label shortly, hopefully ending the enigmatic paranoia once and for all. It’s a pity this band decided to arrive in such an irritating way, but don’t let that take away from their incredible tunes. The lesson for any other bands considering this move in the future is to please hold back your best bits and be aware that it’s ultimately not your group’s moniker that gets us excited, it’s your music. (MB)
BATTLEKAT – BUSINESS
BATTLEKAT – THE PAIN