In a week where every other blog seems to have posted the latest leaked tracks by Lana Del Rey and/or Grimes, it seems like 2012 is already stepping up the pace of unoriginal blog posts. We enjoy both of those artists, particularly Grimes, who is due for a big 2012, albeit not as big as Lana Del Rey, but size isn’t everything is it, and that’s exactly what is at the heart of the frustration with this type of hit-hunting version of blogging – they want to be bigger. We famously adore our blog network and all those writers that we regularly interact with, but there are lots of bloggers who feel like they’re in this race to be the next Pitchfork and it’s painful to watch. Authenticity, originality and quality are actually what makes you a successful music blog. Respect and integrity are earned and band-wagon-blogging, where they list exactly the same music, on exactly the same day as a million others, mostly allows you to get lost in the fog. It’s as if they simply can’t resist getting the tracks up the second they arrive. Cannot. Mmgghh. Resist. Aarrgghh. Post. It’s not like there’s not enough decent emerging music out there, especially this time of year. Of course their defence will be that they genuinely like the music, so are posting from the heart, and we’re not questioning those bloggers who genuinely believe in it, but it’s the others who post several times a day, like they’re basically a news source rather than a voice, who are reading out the same headlines as thousands of other, bigger, better news channels. Just like the new Lana Del Rey track it’s all a bit too boring. Please add something, anything, to the conversation.
OK, rant over, but in fairness it seems appropriate to begin this post with a slightly angry tone because today’s recommendation has overtones of anger flooding through it’s pumped electro pop. We want to turn your attention to a new trio, called Citi Petts, based in Liverpool, that are delivering an energised set of songs with threads of dance, electro and pop weaved through them. Fans of HeartsRevolution and The Gossip will find lots to love with this new group, with similar burnt vocals that grind over crunched synths and a beat that thumps like it’s made of lead. The Recommender is generally not a blog that gives much focus to dance music, as that’s a broad genre with so much constantly going on that it’s best left to the specialists, such as Too Many Sebastians, Blah Blah Blah, You Can Call Me Pelski, or Little White Earbuds. However, we know what we like when it comes to dance music, having grown up from the beginning of the genre and enjoyed watching it’s constant evolution. We know exactly what style of dance music gets us moving our feet and what makes us leave the dancefloor. It’s the difference between being lost in the music, dancing without a care in the world and suddenly becoming aware of your surroundings and how tired you are. Well, Citi Petts make the kind of dance music we find irresistible.
Like all great dance music, it introduces vocals over the electronics, often to break up the repetition; if dance suffers one thing more than any another, it’s repetition, a problem at the heart of electronic music that’s difficult to avoid, as it’s essentially what it’s about. However, some dance acts swerve the issue with skill, and it’s often the vocals that lift it from any monotony. The story goes that singer, Lizzie O’Neill, was spotted during a dance off at a house party, where the two producers, (whose names are inexplicably but deliberately remaining hidden), immediately decided that they’d found the girl they claimed as the “chosen one” to front their music. Energy is obviously a key factor in their designs and having a female fronting it with balls as big as these was clearly too compelling to resist. The trio was born and they’ve now produced an initial set of excellent tunes, leading to them being snapped up by the new label, Saint Signal. They’re due to release their debut single, Love In A Riot, on March 26th. Suffice to state that it’s a fizzing launch track that could well cause a storm in the right blog circles and eventually inside the sets of any DJ worth his salt.
Love Is A Riot, or L.I.A.R as it’s also known, bursts out of the stable doors with an electro riff that sounds like it’s played with an angle grinder. Lizzie’s vocals then deliver the pop element, with verses and choruses that follow the breaks, before the producers begin to chop up her sampled voice. It layers up into a finish that swirls and overlaps to good effect. Wired & Loose takes the electro up a notch, so much so that its in danger of slipping into the faded electro that was so popular around 2006/7, lacking originality and suffering somewhat from the cliches of that period, but once again the vocals, sung once more with attitude, raise the song away from the pitfalls, as Lizzie warns you, “Because we take what we wanna, and we break what we’re gonna alright“. Their best tune to date is undoubtedly Sick Slick Trick, which softens the electro down several pegs, with a warmer, better-crafted bassline, reminiscent of The Gossip from the outset. The bass leads the song throughout and it’s virtually impossible trying to stay still whilst hearing it. The song throbs in all the right places, delivering dance music that’s ultimately more grown up and rounded.
They plan their next gig for Friday 27th January at The Shipping Forecast, on Slater Street, in Liverpool, so we’d suggest starting your weekend in good company if you’re in that city on that date. With the brand of music they’ve been designing we imagine their live shows to be infectiously enjoyable. What’s not to like about punchy dance music like this, with attitude-fuelled vocals that challenge in that same sexy way that Nancy Wang used to, alongside basslines that will wobble the floor beneath. You’ll be dancing to this whether you like it or not. The Recommender will try dropping one of their tunes in our upcoming DJ sets and we’ll enjoy watching it ripple through the venue. This is precisely the kind of enjoyable discovery that music blogging is all about, with little known about the band before today it feels like we’ve uncovered something that has legs, something that’s worth shouting about, something that will resonate. We’re not suggesting that we’re first to them, or that we’ll be the last to cover them, but we’re here to try and be part of your online music discovery service, where you’re visit is rewarded with something relatively fresh and original. Well Christmas may already be a distant memory for you, but with Citi Petts, we hope that our blog can keep on giving. (MB)
CITI PETTS – SICK SLICK TRICK
CITI PETTS – LOVE IN A RIOT
CITI PETTS – WIRED & LOOSE