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Arthur Beatrice sounds like the name of a man, but this isn't a man singing on this record.
Further research indicates that Arthur Beatrice is in fact a four-piece, with vocalist Ella Girardot backed by a man called Orlando Leopard and two brothers called Elliot and Hamish. 'Midland' is their new single, and it's a slick and understated bit of synthpop with moody breakdowns and a catchy chorus. It's very polished considering they recorded it themselves. There's this one moment about halfway through where a really jarring synth chord hits just for a moment and it's surprising and satisfying.
Overall it's somewhere between The xx and Saint Etienne...it seems a little anonymous, but that could just be because it's very hard to get a decent handle on a band's character just from one track. Overleaf there's a couple of remixes. Zed Bias focuses on the minimal aspects of the track, isolating the vocals and laying them over a cold techno beat with soft synth washes and a nifty little 808 bassline. Open Assembly, meanwhile, turns it into a stripped back, chopped up bit of piano house, with a warm bassline running through an unsettling landscape of glitched keys and handclaps. Both pretty interesting mixes.
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- Midland by Arthur Beatrice
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