Electric swing is not a genre or sound to have made a previous invitation to our ears but if the rest of the scene is as impressive as the debut album from UK sextet The Electric Swing Circus, these hips are poised for a future of swerving passion. The self-titled release from the Birmingham swing troupe is sensational, a mischievous seduction which takes feet, senses, and heart by the hand and leads them on a non-stop dance of melodic rascality. Fusing 20′s swing with fiery electro beats with extra teases of dubstep, breakbeat and jungle, the band has conjured an album which has the cure for all ills, shadows, and musical frigidity, a thirteen track release that entices thoughts and body into a quick step of bone swaggering, hotfooting devilment.
Formed in 2011, The Electric Swing Circus took no time in taking up residency of the Hot Club De Swing and Electro Swing Club UK wide. Within three months their live performances and sound earned the band the coveted title of Best Live Act in the ElectroSwing Peoples Favourite Awards 2011, this recognition enhancing the almost instantaneous seduction the band has brought to the scene and continued to reap growing recognition and acclaim within as they continually light up venues and festivals. Add the fact that the video for their track Penniless Optimist since its release late 2011 has been swamped with over 100,000 views this is a band on a potent ascent.
Fronted by the ‘sassy Sisters of Swing’, Eleanor Rose and Laura Louise, the band combine the skills and temptation of Tom Hyland (guitar), Patrick Wreford (bass guitar/double bass), Chandra Walker (drums/keys), and Rashad Gregory (synth, samples and programming), with a delicious vocal temptation to spark the warmest spirited tease possible. The enterprise and frisky adventure of band and songs riding the senses and emotions with class and ravenous hunger igniting the listener and their bodies into a whirl of movement and pleasure, each and every song in their individual stances and devilry succeeding with fascination and imagination.
The album opens with a twenties tease, a vintage breath driving the initial sound before big arching electro beats and pulses resonate from within the distant coaxing. The vocals of the girls court and glance the ear with shafts of beauty, their whispers soaring through the mystique and lush lure of the brief intro ESC. It is a gentle beckoning soon exploding into a riotous shuffle of melodic invention in the form of Bella Belle. Romping with crisp beats, a sizzling electro rub, and brass flames around the sirenesque tones of the leading ladies, the track is a mesmeric stomp which leaps around the senses like a mix of Molotov Jukebox, Art Of Noise, and the Andrews Sisters. It is a song where if not even a toe is moving its flesh in time to the rhythmic suasion, paramedics are needed to check for signs of life.
From the excellent introduction the album continues to take the listener on a vibrant and invigorating stroll through melodic and passionate aural sport, both Swingamajig with its kaleidoscope of sonic colour and creative tempting and Big Ol’ Bite complete with roaming rhythmic fingers and provocative bass licks not forgetting sultry vocal wantonness, opening up varied halls of smouldering elegance and blazing glamour whilst the outstanding Valentine brings another level to twist and let loose rapid shoe enterprise upon. Opening with French vocal enchantment over an eager Parisian melodic sway both Eleanor Rose and Laura Louise lay down their strongest emotive beckoning before combining for an intense union coated by a dark synth lined electro caress. It is an impressive switch leading into a thrilling infection baited chorus which climbs up and down the passions like a lustful puppeteer, the alchemy bringing them out in full bloom to continue romping in the sweltering sun of the track. The stunning and unexpected electro mastery and ingenuity is another irresistible contributor to one of the best tracks not only on the album but heard this year and take a potent place alongside the equally enthralling and incendiary melodic twenties inspired revelation.
The album is a continuous treat of gentle kisses such as the emotive Harvey and energetic exploits of varying gaits such as from the atmospheric heat offered by Mellifluous and the rampant Minnie with its busy and rich tapestry of electronica and swing, the song a reimagining of Cab Calloway’s classic Minnie the Moocher brought in a jazz/dub like persuasion. Every twist and venture of the release is intriguing and deeply compelling with more tracks like The Penniless Optimist leaving no room for indecision about their glory. The song with wonderful throaty bass badgering and fizzing keys brews up its appetite and that of the listener to lurch into a heavy treading irrepressible waltz around the ear, its call and hook impossible to resist as feet and assorted limbs let alone emotions, jump on board with unbridled energy. As with most of the songs it is an irrepressible invitation and offers full clarity as to why it helped propel the band forward back on its first appearance.
Both the tender Put Your Smile On and the dubstep fuelled Ruby unveil further diversity and individual beauty, the latter an exciting unpredictable expanse of invention before the fire that is Little Phatty takes hold for one last course around the dancefloor. Its excellent blend of swing, jazz, and electro is a striking strut for passions and body which makes the perfect ball of energetic climaxing for the release before allowing the closing cover rendition of Everyone Wants to Be a Cat to bring a gentle relaxing sunset to the album. Well that is until midway the drums rustle up the energies for another contagious fling of grinning swing and electro taunting to leave the appetite lost in hunger for much more.
If you have yet to make acquaintance with one of the best bands around and a genre which just might hold the key to your passions, then to go to Electric Swing Circus and their the self-titled debut, this is not a recommendation but a command….what still here?
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