This is a very pretty debut LP from Bradford duo Still Circles. It’s a record of well-groomed, emotive electronic pop songs of the Cocteau Twins school. Natalie Kolowiecki’s breathy croon recalls Polica’s Channy Leaneagh, and along with Jack Donnison she’s constructed seven ethereal instrumentals to back up the vocals. Think Forest Swords, but nicer and with singing.
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Let's talk about Bradford for a minute. It's really good. Honest. It has the Record Cafe, the Triangle, Sunbridge Wells, the Curry Beck and it was recently voted the Wonga Cheapest Night Out in Britain. Also look up at the buildings and it's gorgeous. One other thing is that Still Circles are from Bradford and have here teamed up with 'super' producer and friend to the shop Choque Hosein to make an album of feathery, atmospheric laid back electronic pop.
The fact that I'm struggling to stay awake during this, their debut album, should not be seen as a bad thing at all. I'm perfectly happy, Natalie Kolowilcki's voice is tickling my ears softly whilst gentle, understated electronics flutter around her. It's the sort of sound I heard in that album by Woman's Hour that came out a couple of years ago - i.e with a sort of retro wine bar with nods towards the classy sophisticated music made in the 80s by the likes of Sade. I just want slightly more beef at times in their sound to hold my interest. 'Threadbare' is possibly the best thing here and that's because there's a whopper of a bassline underneath and that there is the odd Portishead-ish sample lolling about. I like Kolowilcki's vocal here, hitting unusual notes, teasing you into the song rather than shouting in your ear.
Understated but pretty gorgeous all said. One for late nights, soundtracking the post night out slump.
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