The New Haircut EP is another debut this year which needed little time to excite ears and incite reactions to go wow. There has been a few already in 2016 and amongst the most thrilling is this introduction to East London alt-pop trio Playing House. The three song festival of pop discord and irresistible hooks simply grabs attention and a swiftly greedy appetite with its creative devilry and maturity. Listening to the EP for the first time was a being stopped in the tracks moment with the grin on face and the passions telling all.
Much like another big site favourite Horse Party, Playing House is a two girl, one guy exploration of pop music. Every raw jangle, off-kilter twist, and discord fuelled sidestep of the genre embraced and re-honed to the threesome’s own startling escapades whilst weaving in the melodic prowess and flirty hooks you would expect and hope for. Inspirations for the three are said to include the likes of David Bowie, Velvet Underground, and Chic but you just can tell that their own tastes provide a much broader canvas for their music to draw from before finding its own unique character.
Hitting the London live scene in the September of 2015 with a sold out headline show at St Giles in The Fields Church, hosted by Kal Lavelle for her We Love Shows series, Playing House have become a greedily devoured live proposition. The New Haircut EP is going to try and transfer that support to a broader landscape with its release; success hard to see being missed as gets ears lustful again listening to the release whilst fingers hit keys.
It opens with the first song written by the band, Feel The Weight. Its initial touch is a fuzzy mist of keys, the second a romping stroll of bouncing rhythms and a spicy hook still embraced by that melodically dissonant wash. The coaxing into the song is ear thrilling and becoming even more irresistible as things relax for the lively and lyrically potent vocals courted by an equally infectious prowess to rhythms and riffs. The edge to its thick beats contrasts perfectly with the funky swing of the song and the imaginative blend of vocals from the two ladies, a combination of sound and energy which has a definite and repeated in other songs feel of 4 Non Blondes to it.
The excellent start only hits another plateau with the EP’s title track and band’s new single. New Haircut is quite superb, again enslaving attention from the first moments as choppy and steely guitars entangle around the vocal roar. Once the song slips into post punk meets alternative pop ingenuity, the deal is done, ears and passions enslaved. From there rhythms roam and roll with a quirky almost deranged tenacity whilst stabbing riffs and those increasingly choppy chords have feet and spirit throwing shapes like a slinky. The track is quite brilliant with that vocal agility and adventure of the band the ringleader to glorious revelry and lyrical incitement of thought.
The release is completed by Grapefruit, another addiction in the making proposal which takes barely seconds to entice and engross as guitars chip away at ears which are simultaneously being slowly seduced by keys. Though carrying a more restrained energy than its predecessors, the song has a lively swagger and charm which will have bodies on their feet and hips swaying in boisterous union.
It is a fine end to one thrilling first look at Playing House. You always assume a band will grow and blossom further from their first endeavour which in this case means the British music scene has one mighty and destined to be exhilarating adventure brewing ahead of them. A must hear release.
The New Haircut EP is released April 8th
Upcoming live dates:
Wednesday 13th April – Birthdays, London (EP release show)
Sunday 17th April – Sound Control, Manchester
Wednesday 20nd April – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
Thursday 21st April – The Garage, London
Friday 22nd April – Sofar Sounds, Liverpool
Saturday 23rd April – Moon Club, Cardiff
Pete RingMaster 06/04/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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