Finding something particularly unique in music is not always an easy task but that is exactly what British alternative electronic duo Haxby Swango offer in sound and through their new EP The Lately Low. Both are an exciting and riveting proposition embracing a host of contrasting flavours within off kilter electronic waltzes, and seriously compelling.
The union of guitarist/vocalist Hutchy Swango and keyboardist Jack Swango, Haxby Swango can be described as a slightly deranged mix of Asylums, G.R.I.M, Mr. Kitty, and early Cure, but then again still far aside of that such the originality and imagination fuelling certainly every track upon The Lately Low. Recorded with producer Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Best Coast), the virulent infection of idea and sound seduces ears and incites appetite within its first breath, a success already made with Anonymous Records who signed the pair upon hearing them and now release their new fascination of electronic enterprise.
The EP opens with Telephone and quickly has the senses and thoughts engaged as keys lay the foundation for the tantalising vocals of Hutchy. Initially wrapping ears with a boyish smoulder loaded with distinctive expression and tone, he quickly slips into a catchy rap within the increasingly dramatic flavour of sound. There is a touch of Great Imitation to the song as melodic and hip hop hues join the perpetually evolving electronic landscape. As lyrically alluring as it is vocally and sonically magnetising, the song quickly has body and passions aflame, its success quickly backed by that of its successor.
The Trapezist Sees Everything opens with an exotic Asian coaxing, which within a few sultry breaths blossoms into a temptation of melodic seduction and emotive expression crowded by pulsating textures. Again rap, hip hop, electro rock, and more collude to weave the captivation, though it is the vocals which steal the bulk of the focus even as bubbly rhythms and a spicily shimmering ambience make a potent persuasion too. Fair to say, with it all combined the result is one mesmeric and wonderfully bewildering adventure.
Next He Won’t slips in on emotive keys and an accompanying sample, spreading it’s tempting in a slightly slower misty lure compared to the more energetic incitements of its predecessors, though again synths alone have a tenacious gait and heart to their inescapable persuasion. Also as the first two songs, it nurtures a romancing of the imagination and a greedy appetite, an affair again equipped with a creative schizophrenia which leaves unpredictability as fiercely persuasive as the sounds and ingenuity it breeds.
The next track is called Schizo, a title feeling apt for the body of sound within the EP, and of course for the individual askew majesty of the outstanding track. Mercilessly catchy and virulently bold like a kaleidoscope of sound, the song is an irresistibly shadowed carnival of emotion and creative intent shaped and coloured by just as exploratory keys and the ever beguiling vocal croon of Hutchy. The Yorkshire lilt of his voice also offers a great hue to the whole tapestry of song and release, the closing L’ost a final confirmation of that and the invention and craft conjuring up The Lately Low. Enticing and enslaving with a sublime blanket of melodic beauty and creative rabidity, the song simply leaves a hunger for more in tandem with thick pleasure behind.
The press release with the EP described The Lately Low as “a Lynchian sideways look at contemporary pop music that’s stuffed with disturbing imagery and strange tangents.” That is a great summing up of the EP but still only one aspect to the rich dimensions and layers making up one of the year’s major treats.
The Lately Low EP out now on Anonymous Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-lately-low-ep/id1055378862
Pete RingMaster 04/12/2015
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