Album Review: Love, Hugh – Hugh

Last time HUGH were featured on NEW LEASE MUSIC was last September, with their upbeat and chirpy single, ‘Look at In Laughter.’ Soon as I learnt of their debut album, ‘Love, Hugh’, I had to have a peep as the infectious melodic pop overtones in ‘Look Back In Laughter’ have been swimming in mind ever since its feature on the blog.

The four piece band from London, featuring Joshua Idehen and Izzy Brooks, have been praised by BBC Radio One, The Guardian, Stereogum, i-D and Hype Machine for their balanced blend of R&B/soul and synthpop featured in the 11 track album…and quite rightly so.

However I have to say the better part of ‘Love, Hugh’ is the second half of the album. The sweet melancholic presence of pop art takes a back seat, making way for the smooth and atmospheric R&B, enhanced by a woofing electronic bass (which reminds me of Massive Attack, for some reason).

Usually, I don’t follow hypes, but this one for real.. they’re definitely worth a trial. See the recommended tracks below.

Must Listens: I Can’t Figure You Out, Protect My Heart, I Don’t Like You, Take It Slow, In and Out of Love.

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New Track: Lost In The City – Gents

Synth-pop duo GENTS are proving themselves as the latest exciting sound to come from Copenhagen’s burgeoning scene, with their third single, ‘Lost In The City’, taken from their forthcoming LP ‘About Time’, released via The Big Oil Recording Company.

‘Lost In The City’ is an ode to embracing the unknown. For GENTS, uncertainty isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “Sometimes you don’t know what you are looking for, and then it can be rewarding just giving in and letting the flow bring you to new places.” The duo describe the feel of the track as “Bruce Springsteen finding himself in a 90s club.

Following a mellow, soft breakdown, the track ends with an uplifting techno blast of bright keys and thumping kick drum. For GENTS, ‘Lost in the City’ was an opportunity to “try out some new stuff” which the duo says “has opened some doors and pushed us in a new direction. The last part of the song is in many ways a nod to our time in Berlin, where we spent a lot of time in the nightlife.”

With Theis Vesterløkke on synths and production and Niels Fejrskov Juhl’s characteristic baritone vocals, GENTS’ sound is founded in a shared passion for 80’s synths and drum machines, alongside obvious nods to distinguished crooners Elvis, Scott Walker and Rick Astley. Their sound screams fun, but the duo are keen to emphasise their sincerity in what they do. Talking to Soundvenue, Niels describes their ambition to write songs which move people, but always with “a twinkle in the eye”. Citing artists such as Wham!, Tears for Fears and The War on Drugs as influences, the pair champion musicians who are not afraid to open up their hearts and use music as a direct mode of expression, with no distance or irony.

‘Lost In The City’ follows up on their previous single, ‘Brother’, which was complemented by a video premiere on C-Heads and further support from the likes of Ja Ja Ja and London on the Inside.

Having also featured on Sound of Copenhagen’s compilation of rapidly rising stars for their debut single ‘Young Again’, there is much more to come in 2017 from the Danish synthpop duo.

New Track: Something Special – Slowes

lowes-something-special

Danish duo SLOWES present the next iteration of their psychedelic-pop with new single Something Special,  released through the US (Californian) label Noon Pacific.

The three-and-a-half laid-back production displays the perfect combination of floating synths and the melodic presence of the piano, with vocals dripping with sonic emotion. Their previous release, I Need You generated support from Indie Shuffle, Clash and Idolator and gained over 80k hits on Soundcloud and exposure across BBC Radio, with support from Huw Stephens, Phil Taggart and Nemone.

Taking advantage of the summer season by touring extensively, the synth poppers have performed at Trailerpark Festival and Ideal Bar in Copenhagen, Inversus Festival and Tape in Aarhus and The Shacklewell Arms in London.

Striking a balance between organic pop and ‘chillwave’, Jack Kilburn (vocals) and Anders Hamann (drums) formed SLOWES in 2015. Something Special is now the second single from the pair ahead of their debut EP set for release early next year.

Go on, have a bump free Monday; have a listen SLOWES‘ latest effort.

New Release: OutBreak – Eric Lee

eric lee outbreak

New York club filler ERIC LEE recently release his 5-track EP, Outbreak. Featuring his first single The Moon, this epic production has the perfect fusion of that seriously deep electronic dance drive and 80’s synthpop. Go ahead, check it out!

Outbreak EP is available for purchase on iTunes

To find out more about ERIC LEE, head right here.