Thomas Sanders has one of the most distinctive voices in indie pop right now, both sweetly insistent and arch.Tonight, it’s never sounded better.
A packed, sweaty King Tuts hears some favourites from debut album Breakfast such as almost-hymn-like debut single Cristina ,plus new songs from follow-up Brilliant Sanity . It’s lovely, immediate stuff, with Krautrock drumming from Hiro Amamiya, and washes of electro pop synth which is evocative of both 80s bands like A Certain Ratio and modern day icons Metronomy , Alt J et al.
They’re most magnificent when tackling dark introspective subjects: English Architecture with tinkly keyboard lines has contemplative lyrics about transience and isolation, and first single from Brilliant Sanity, Fall In Time gains new textures live, swelling with hypnotic piano and sirens undercutting its anthemic qualities.Canvas Shoe with its melancholy melody line and nostalgic lyrics even seems oddly reminiscent of The Beatles’ gorgeous Across the Universe.
But that’s not to say they can’t do gnarly- Tangerine is a bit of a beast, marrying Sanders’ AOR riffs with choppy Oriental synth, building to a fuzzier conclusion which will be perfect with summer festival crowds.
Locked into their own individual grooves, with bass player Peter Cattermoul the most animated and Thomas Sanders declaring himself a booze-free zone at the moment, they are not the most ‘hands in the air’ kind of band- but are all the more effective for it. They are maturing into a classic pop band whose off-kilter sensibilities mark them as majestic and thoughtful; a nice antidote to both bland indie landfill and brainless party anthems.
Brilliant Sanity is released on Moshi Moshi on April 8th.
The tour continues throughout Spring and Summer.Check websites.