I first heard about AlunaGeorge before Bestival 2012. My friend and I were discussing who we were going to try and catch at the festival. Whilst fretting over the Frank Ocean sized gap in the line-up the name AlunaGeorge was mentioned on my friends part, naturally, like with all new bands, I didn’t think anything of it. Having not heard of them I decided I could potentially go and see them if nothing else was on. I even got a text when at Robin Hill Park advising me to go and see them.
To this day I will forever regret not going to see the duo. It was sods law that they would have an astronomical rise to fame leading up to the release of this fantastic debut record Body Music; I want more than anything to be able to smugly claim ‘I saw them before they were famous’ but alas, it wasn’t to be. I’m surprised I didn’t get a massive ‘I TOLD YOU SO’ plastered on my Facebook wall as soon as they were shortlisted for the BBC’s Sound of 2013.
I’m going to move on from my bitter regret to tell you about AlunaGeorge’s debut record. It’s pop music, redefined. When ‘You Know You Like It’ first came on the scene back in 2011 the Top 40 was riddled with David Guetta shaped infections and ridiculously toxic doses of LMFAO. The direction of pop music looked more like a black abyss we would never be able to escape. But now, in 2013, we have a refreshing take on pop, one that strips it back to simple beats and fantastically catchy hooks sang with sparkling vocals.
‘Outlines’ is the opener of the album and it eases the listener into Body Music with its minimal sound. Lulling the listener into the album by introducing their sound through a comfortable medium, one that isn’t too far away from what they already know. We are then back into familiar territory with ‘You Know You Like It’, ‘Attracting Flies’ and ‘Your Drums Your Love’. All are songs that make nights out in popular clubs more bearable as AlunaGeorge have welcomely been filtered into the clubs playlists. The next unheard track is more adventurous; ‘Kaleidoscope Love’ mixes Aluna Francis’ sickly sweet pop vocals into a toe-tapping insanely catchy sing-a-long. A definite highlight on the album.
‘Diver’ delves deeper into the sound AlunaGeorge are trying to create. Weirder drum beats and odd vocal layering. Yet they make it work. George Reid demonstrates his creativity by mashing Aluna’s vocals into many forms. As the album progresses we reach ‘Superstar’ which, for me, is the only track that doesn’t grab my full attention. There is a slip in the quality of the hooks and the lyrics are a bit cheesy. It’s a track that doesn’t particularly stand out.
Title track ‘Body Music’ has an Ellie Goulding-esque vibe in terms of the vocal edits. I’m not a massive Goulding fan but AlunaGeorge seem to so what she is attempting to do, but with more flare. This track in particular demonstrates that AlunaGeorge aren’t merely a solo vocalist and a producer, they are a collaboration. A definitive duo with equal weighting. ‘Lost & Found’ is a highlight on the record with Aluna’s fast-paced vocals showing you an incredibly catchy sing-a-long. This for me would be a potential next single for the duo. The way in which George adapts Aluna’s vocals to fit with the funky, fun, track is stunning.
Overall a great first effort from the pop duo. The bare backing tracks that filter through RnB and Garage producing styles layered nicely with Aluna’s unique vocals makes the album a pleasure to listen to. It makes me excited for the future of the duo. A definite must-listen for 2013.
Body Music is out tomorrow (Monday 29th July 2013).