Monday 24 September 2012

Glass Animals - Leaflings EP

EP review by KevW

You get the impression right from the start of the new EP from London's Glass Animals that these songs are precision engineered. They're unlikely to be the product of lengthy jamming sessions, this sounds like hand-selected components being carefully pieced together in the studio to mechanically construct a new form of experimental electro-pop. It may sound like a sterile approach to music making (and we're speculating rather than providing facts) yet these guys manage to muster up plenty of soul, especially in the vocals which are carefully balanced at just the right place in the mix. Despite what feels like a very methodical technique for recording, Glass Animals splice genres together wilfully and as a result 'Leaflings' is more varied than you may expect. Some might call it trip-hop, others might describe a blend of electronica, soul and psychedelia; abstract sounds and an acquired taste.

It does take several plays to digest these songs properly, but that's merely a reflection of the pinpoint accuracy and, one suspects, fairly lengthy writing, recording, mixing and mastering process. The closest we get to immediacy is opener 'Golden Antlers' which is all inch-perfect beats spooky synths. It's the vocals that give these tracks their emotion and human feel. 'Cocoa Hooves' is an especially soulful example but they never let things get too smooth. In less capable hands we could be looking at the slick radio-ready trip-pop of Morcheeba and co., however the occasionally abstract structures and production see that we stay in alternative territory like on the dubby 'Dust In Your Pocket'. Glass Animals have most likely given up a lot of their time formulating these songs and if you're able to give them a little of your time in return you won't be left empty handed.

Glass Animals' website

Stream the EP in full

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