You gotta be well-prepared if you want to make a splash as a new musician these days. You gotta hone your craft, be fit for the road ahead and be ready for everything. You have one shot and one shot only, so you better make sure it’s loaded. With today’s recommendation we might just have uncovered the most exciting bullet of the year. As we tip into 2013, we hope this lot deliver on what is a massive promise. Next year could surely be theirs if the rumours about their album are true. This is one of the final listening suggestions before we head into the inevitable round up and prediction posts that dominate December in the blog world. As this post will testify, just because we’re closing the year off, doesn’t mean the incredible music doesn’t keep coming. When we reflect on 2012 surely this will rank high among the killer tunes that arrived in our headphones this year. It just goes to show the year isn’t over until it’s over and all those blogs already setting their sights on next year may well have missed a last-minute addition.
Solomon Grey tick almost every box for us. This duo are Tom Kingston and Joe Wilson, a pairing from either side of the planet, not only having grown up in the UK and Australia respectively, but they also recorded their album in both countries too. To date just one single song has appeared from the project and it’s got the blogs jumping. Now, here at The Recommender at least, we’re not usually ones for tipping artists on the back of one tune, but this is no ordinary tune. It arrived in recent weeks, alongside a magnificent video and from the get-go you too will be hooked. This is blog crack. Imagine We Have Band covering TV On The Radio and you can perhaps understand why we’re salivating onto our desktop. Arriving after the death of LCD Soundsystem and in between TV On The Radio albums they comfortably fill a James Murphy-shaped, alternative pop hole in our hearts. Their timing may well be perfect, but there’s something about their music that suggests none of us will ever tire of this. Like their New York influences, they make music that’s virtually impossible to get bored of. It makes you lift and it keeps you interested just long enough to get you out of your seat.
The début single is called Firechild and in all honesty it doesn’t get much more flammable. Not only is the song a hit in waiting, but it shows the tell-tale signs of a major talent. A classy production, an awesome bassline, a cinematic quality, thoughtful lyrics, a glossy finish, breaks and drops in all the right places, lifting vocals, it’s all there. It’s a song with movement and fluidity, yet it has a wonderfully controlled energy to it. It feels taut and powerful, explosive even, yet it’s threat never tips over into chaos. It’s a song that aims high, but is found already flying from the outset, as it winds into view with a synthetic bassline that runs like it’s attached to the tyres of a race car. The beat provides the perfect four-beat clap, before the voice retains control, as a male vocal sings “I threw myself on to the fire, I threw myself on to the sword” in an epic refrain. It’s an expressive song about inspiring said ‘Firechild’ to “free yourself” and to “get your own life“. Put this track on your headphones when walking to the interview and you’ll storm it. Play it when preparing for a big performance and you’ll outplay the opposition. Listen when you’re looking for that big change and it will seem like the easiest thing you ever considered.
Not only is the song available as a free download from their site, but the gift extends to an accompanying video, which is equally as polished (see below). Henry Scholfield has directed it beautifully, with simple abstract visions interrupted by hypnotic dancing. It has the look and feel of something very high budget, major label-sized budget in fact, but they’ve apparently been operating alone on this project for the last three years, pulling in favours from mates for the video itself. Before you go hunting around online for older tracks, there aren’t any. They may have been working on this for three years, but that’s purely so they can add the deliberate finish that you now see coming out. It’s taken that long to design, build and polish this product, with the debut album already completed and ready for a release next year. This is a fully-formed new act, a beautiful butterfly, that wanted to get it right and fly when it’s absolutely ready. Absolutely nothing, then BAM! It’s a sign of the times that bands need this level of thought-out planning, but as we mentioned, you only get one shot these days. Thankfully their shot just hit the bullseye first time. (MB)