…And the treats of 2014 just keep coming; in a year already endowed with some of the finest releases and debuts, Puppet Loosely Strung just might be the best of all so far. A masterful aural tapestry of sonic magnificence and unbridled imagination, the first album from UK band The Correspondents is simply stunning and quite irresistible. The creation of London based duo, producer Chucks and singer Mr Bruce, the album is a weave of intrigue, adventure, and diversity showing exactly why for the last few years the band has been drawing fevered attention and adoration for their live performances. Reaping the glories of everything from dance music to jazz, blues to electro and drum ‘n’ bass for a pop soaked exploration unique to themselves, The Correspondents is one of those bewitchments everyone needs in their lives.
Mr Bruce and Chucks came together as The Correspondents in 2007, two South London artists taking as little as two years to find themselves playing main stages across numerous festivals. The years since their emergence has seen the band touring with the appetite of a hungry predator, small and large audiences constantly enthralled and enamoured by their invention driven sound and the band acclaimed as The Telegraph’s Top Ten Glastonbury Highlights two years in a row. With one EP, What’s Happened to Soho?, the only recorded offering until now, the band has impressively sparked a greedy appetite towards them, one which will soar as Puppet Loosely Strung seduces and provokes with its stunning radiance. Bringing in well-loved and established songs from their live set and a new breed of introspective emotive tracks, the release is the ultimate crossover album, one forging and sculpting a realm all of its very own and one sure to inspire hearts and numerous other upcoming bands.
The self-produced, recorded, and released Puppet Loosely Strung, digs deep in the heart of its recipients from the first song and never relinquishes its seduction thereafter. Opener What Did I Do? initially croons the ears, the exceptional voice of Mr Bruce serenading thoughts as keys caress his presence before beats add their mildly skittish suasion to the emerging stroll. Within seconds the track is a full captivation turning into a virulent lure as its unpredictable and mischievous enterprise skirts the reflective grace of the vocals. It is a delicious sway of ingenious sound and loving imagination which whirls senses and thoughts around like an evocative carousel of thoughtful temptation.
The striking start is soon taken to another plateau with the first single from the album, Fear And Delight. A dramatic shadowed coaxing of keys makes a mysterious entrance which moves into a feisty romp of indie rock and electronic temptation. If the first track was virulent, the second song is an epidemic, infectiousness rampaging with lustful energy and sound as the pair merge dub into drum and bass with a ska kissed melodic ingenuity. Not for the last time The Correspondents remind of little known and even quicker forgotten eighties band Zanti Misfits, the swing and quirky balance of the track the spark for thoughts. The song is pure musical alchemy, a classic stomp with irresistibly lingering bait which the rest of the album has to try and make you forget, which it soon manages with the next up Give You Better. The song lyrically is almost the warped mirror image/alternative guise to the plaintive narrative of its predecessor, even emerging from the same melodic stroke before casting is own personal persuasion. Once again the keys paint a dark drama to proceedings before the vibrant and magnetic saunter of the song brings a tempering light to the blues pleading hues of the song. As the previous tracks the urge to join in with limbs and voice to the creative trespass of the passions is impossible to resist, the already broad grin on the face and imagination now connecting ears.
The seductive shuffle of Kind Of Love next licks temptingly over the senses, its jazz bred almost easy listening leaning call leading the senses into an electronic elegance before the instrumental skit of In The Meantime brings a cinematically emotive breather to the dance of the release. It’s enjoyable if slightly underwhelming presence in the larger scheme of things is succeeded by Devil’s Lighthouse, a song which encloses the listener in a melody rich sonic exploration which simply brings another flush of ardour towards the album. Restrained yet brisk in its step, the track pushes shadows into the arms of warm ambition and hope for another pinnacle in the continuously lofty range of majesty.
Both Well Measured Vice and The Last Time leave a spellbound state over ears and thoughts, the first another upbeat romp with provocative colour to its melodies and vocals playing within a rhythmic and pulsating courting. The song designs riveting adventures within its fluid waltz to easily transfix whilst its successor s offers the most potent seduction with its XTC like eccentricity and occasional Andy Partridge flavoured twist in the vocals. The song is one of the few happy to simply walk around the senses and coat them with a thick breeze of varied inventive whispers before making way for the dance floor spawned Back Again. Even if missing the benchmark set, the track is another drawing a mesmeric rapture which simply draws you in without reserve, its rhythmic tantalising as potent as its melodic fascination.
The album’s title track lays a haunted ambience around the imagination as the song and Mr Bruce explain their feelings and thoughts respectively, the song a smouldering and sultry flight into observational and inward reflection to which the keys place compelling embers and imagination shaping sparks. The enchanting journey is matched and surpassed by the latest single, the brilliant Alarm Call. Released with a video to raise awareness and funds for The Epilepsy Society, there is a definite Julian Cope feel to the song vocally, emotionally, and exploratory; it’s pulsating contagion aligned to evocative textures and thoughts pure addictiveness.
Closing with Some Nights, another impossible catchy and passion securing musical rap of peerless prowess and excited imagination, Puppet Loosely Strung is just sensational. It is a quite brilliant investigation of lost loves, dark relationships, and shadowed reflections all wrapped up in one of the most extraordinary sirenesque designs of sound and spirit. The Correspondents is our new lust and we suggest you make them yours too.
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