With this brand spanking new trio from London we are in the action of watching a set of artists step out from the darkness and into the light. This three-piece are an electronic act, but they’ve actually been floating around the London scene for a few years in other guises. Very other guises. They used to be in different bands, none of which were particularly successful, but who had been compared to the likes of Interpol and The Editors. Considering the dark edges of those comparisons, it’s perhaps a little surprising to hear their new work bang and fizz like a bright firework. The early results are showing enough exciting signs to get an “ooh” and an “ahh” from all those who hear them.
Enfant play a brand of dance music that is a marked change from their previous band’s roots, having swapped their guitars for a world of synthetics. You now find crunchy keys and thumping beats, but rather than lobotomise their past, they’ve maintained a few lessons for this venture into a new genre. This is dance music, as it’s aiming for your feet and the floor, but there’s vocals that sing verses and choruses, alongside a start-middle-and-end song structure. This is the pop end of dance music, which will most likely draw comparisons to the likes of Fenech Soler, Kids Of 88, or Monarchy, but there’s a driving pace that sits alongside some excellent sing-along chorus.
The trio are made up of twins, Ali and Robin Owen, who originally come from Scotland and they’re joined by Ed Ellis, from Poole, with whom they’d worked alongside in a previous band. They now call London home and emerged from their studio in August with their first track, Waking Up The Sun. It’s unlikely to be their first official single, more it’s planned as a tasty introduction to their aesthetic. The track begins with synths that are delivered with the kind of funked bounce that wouldn’t look out of place on a Zapp & Roger song. As the title suggests, it’s a wake up tune that’s slapped from one side of your face to the other, before Ed Ellis’ vocals kick in and begin to carry the song. What plays out could easily be earmarked as a single, feeling as radio-friendly as it does, and what it lacks in sophistication it makes up for in accessibility. This isn’t intended to be a ‘grower’ – you will like it from the first listen. In many ways that’s the perfect introduction track.
As DJs they’re familiar with the London club scene as they’ve played the likes of Cargo and The Bowery and are due to be on the decks at the next Appetite For Electro night at Catch. We asked Ali how they plan to interpret what is a very electronic mixture into their live sets when performing as a trio and his response suggested that having previously been on stage in bands in recent years they’re at their most comfortable playing live. “If the Chemical Brothers played traditional instruments” was his explanation, as he wishes to physically play as much of their sound as they can, including utilising a live drummer. It’s an exciting prospect as their mixture of vocals that you can sing along to and beats that you can dance to should create the kind of party he tells us they’re looking for.
Ali also informed us that a new video is planned to sit alongside the first track. Waking Up The Sun will be launched at a screening in a small cinema in Bermondsey on Friday 14th October. They’ve worked with a new director and cinematographer, obviously putting as much effort into their music videos as they do their music – a tip that works well for all new artists in the Internet age. It also suggests a group that are truly considering this new approach to music, working it all out well beforehand and building it up to the eventual full scale launch – they tell us the debut single, which will be a new tune, is officially scheduled for a release in early 2012. It’s an exciting prospect, as we’re watching a band shift their mood into a happier place and on the basis of these early previews we believe that next year could see them reaping the rewards of more positive outlook. (MB)
ENFANT – WAKING UP THE SUN
FOSTER THE PEOPLE – HELENA BEAT (ENFANT REMIX)