THE NEW UP-“Better Off” (EP) and LITTLE BOOTS-“Hands”

The New Up‘s press release:

The New Up’s effusive female-fronted melodies, darkened by edgy whirling guitars, juxtapose hard-hitting 00s alternative with swirling psychedelic overtones. Through an emphasis on the art of songwriting along with their provocative lyrics and gripping live performances, this five-piece awakens lusty social revelations that call upon hope.

Headquartered at their San Francisco home, endearingly named The Pleasure Pad (where the band rehearses and records), members ES Pitcher (vocals, guitar), Noah Reid (guitar, vocals), Hawk West (flute and automation), Dain Dizazzo (bass) and Drew Bertrand (drums) began recording a series of three EPs in the spring of 2008. After laying down the basic tracks at Hyde Street Studios with Jaimeson Durr (Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Handsome Boy Modeling School), they began layering additional tracks at The Pleasure Pad, where they could explore by recording flute lines in bathrooms and trying odd mic placements in closets. Reid notes, “It’s such a luxury to be able to record in the comfort of your own home. It gives you the freedom to focus on one little idea for two hours, and then try something different if you decide that idea doesn’t work – without the pressure and financial constraints of a traditional studio.”
And a similarly polished pop project worth your dimes and time is the latest from UK’s Little Boots (a.k.a. Victoria Hesketh). You may remember her as the slick lady who covered Freddy Mercury’s “Love Kills” on an EP earlier this year. “Hands” is an electropop album that stretches the confines of (what I often find) a limiting genre due in large part to very skilled songcraft. Hesketh used to be with the dance-pop band Dead Disco, a band so good Metric named a song after them. She also has a history in a jazz band, which explains her ability to make the typical pop song sound atypically intricate and improvisational. That’s right, improvisational. In electropop. And credit for the quality should also be shared with producer Joe “Hot Chip” Goddard, for a perfectly balanced mix of shimmering vocals and poppy dance music. Go buy it.

Bitch-The New Up (ysi)

New In Town-Little Boots (ysi)

Stuck on Repeat-Little Boots (ysi)

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