Unknown Pleasures #25 ft. The Madcaps, Jason Nolan, Pop & Obachan

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The Madcaps

The Madcaps

It’s back to the basics in this week’s Unknown Pleasures, with mesmeric dream-pop and spacious electronica also on the cards for Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke.

It’s come to our attention here in Unknown Pleasures corner, that it’s been a while since we’ve featured some straight-up, skewering rock ‘n’ roll. Too long has this writer spent wittering around the latest flood of flouncing electro-ponces; sometimes nothing hits the spot just like a brazen-faced blast of good old-fashioned garage-rock.

So step forward The Madcaps of Rennes, France, the early tastes of whose debut album are setting out to be quite the prospect. The two tracks we’ve got our mitts on thus far – 8,000 Miles From Home and Moon Night – aren’t original by any stretch of the imagination, yet set themselves apart through brass-necked guitars, brazen pop melodics and an emphatic nonchalance from their vocalist.

Though the latter’s an enjoyably louche piece of fuzz, it’s 8,000 Miles that really elevates the foursome, who’re signed to the similarly commendable Howlin’ Banana Records, home of former Unknown Pleasure Volage.

Back to the electronica then, where Oxted-born Jason Nolan is showing his worth with a pair of intriguing new slow burners, Stem and Brush Social Club.

Stem takes a Gold Panda approach, littering transcendent vocal samples through heavenly distortion, a slow dovetail of midnight tones and swarming ambience collating to a piece of pure beauty.

Brush Social Club is a more melancholy affair, a spine of vocal loops and deep, esoteric throbs of electronica the perfect counterpoint to transcendent strings. Across both Nolan thrives on space, allowing gorgeous tones to thrive amid a capacious, vivid aesthetic.

Left-field dream-poppers Pop & Obachan, a.k.a. Emma Tringali and Jake Smisloff are similarly successful in their grasp for wondrous, widescreen sonics on new EP Dream Soup.

The New York pair thrive on their idiosyncrasies, taking the elegant poignancy of Beach House and a keen eye on vintage melodics as influence beneath a characterful stamp of individualism. Tringali‘s rising, tender vocal is breathy but substantial, lent an exotic hint by a nordic-sounding twinge, her backing a majestic swirl of affably crooked guitars, inviting keys and firm electronic drums.

The EP’s an entrancing listen, but tragically all too brief. The quirky, starry-eyed romanticism of Holly, the levitating Dry Land and the hypnotic Death Protector hinting at a full length release to be simply adored.

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