Monday, 20 January 2014

Recommended music: 'Total Strife Forever' by East India Youth

I can be as guilty as anyone of rushing out reviews just to be head of the pack. So for a change I've lived with this album for a week, played it every day and even watched Will Doyle perform most of it live at Rough Trade East last Monday. So after seven days in its presence what's my verdict on the record?

It's highly possible that you'll struggle to hearing anything as good as this all year. Doyle has crafted a wonderfully diverse album that mixes wistful pop songs with euphoric dance moments and atmospheric, almost chilling instrumentals. It's like a concoction of Daniel Avery, Pet Shop Boys and Tim Hecker served up, in appearance anyway, by a recently-graduated teacher. By his own admittance there were some pretty low points in Will's life while he was putting this together, but while you can feel these in the music there is sufficient light and shade for the feelings not to become overpowering. Doyle has a good ear for a melody, particularly on the more straightforward tracks like 'Heaven, How Long', 'Dripping Down' and 'Looking For Someone', and his lyrics also exude quality.

Overall this is the first essential purchase for 2014, a record that good well be in with a good chance of a Mercury Prize nomination, and one that deserves to be in your collection.

East India Youth at Rough Trade East, London 13/1/14
PS It's worth mentioning that if you're going to buy the cd you should get it from an indie record store such as Rise Music or Rough Trade, as initial copies come with a bonus cd featuring a score that Will Doyle's written for the 1916 film of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea that he originally performed at Bestival last year.

No comments:

Post a Comment