AlunaGeorge - 'Body Music'
One of the big hype bands to come out of the new music wave
at the end of 2012, the London duo’s release was highly anticipated, to say the
least. Off the back of singles ‘Attracting Flies’ and ‘Your Drums, Your Love’ the
sweet, smooth voice of Aluna Francis neatly blended with George Reid’s
polyrhythmic blend of dubstep, pop and house (among many) was definitely one of
the more pleasant aural experiences you could hope to hear. We can only assume
that this album was finished a long time ago, but it was chosen to time
perfectly for the UK festival season; to ride that wave.
The first thing of note was the cohesiveness of the style of music these two create on the album. This says to me that they have an innate sense of self-awareness in their 90’s garage influence and the near-melancholy of the subject matter. The duo has attempted a variety of tracks, and we can highlight this by looking no further than the first handful of tracks.
Body Music opens with Outlines, a slow, pulsing track with the soft Francis chiming “Is this paper all I’ve got to you keep you with me? Keep you from fading away?”, this track highlights the ability of Reid to know when less is more and that the simplicity of Reid’s voice can hold its own even on ballad-like songs.
We’re then shuffled along to You Know You Like It , easily my favourite track on the album, the constant light bouncing bass melody should keep most anyone grooving along. The foreground of Francis’ somewhat-weaving vocal melody is the perfect match with that aforementioned. The synergy these two create on this track would be second to very few; especially when you consider how minimal this music is. Attracting Flies follows and is well documented as a strong track, with an emphasis on percussion to fill the background and create a full sound.
Your Drums, Your Love, slows the album back down, and has a unique blend of Flume-esque verses, before some very R&B like elements take over the chorus. Kaleidoscope Love, follows and it is a nice track, but it’s about here that you start to feel a little funny. The track doesn’t sound that different to anything you’ve heard before; though it’s still nice. The next half dozen or so tracks follow this nice platform, not really reaching any significant peaks like the first 4 tracks probably did. The use of Francis’ voice in a production melody is pretty catchy in Lost & Found and Best Be Believing, but we do have to remember this is very similar to our own Flume.
Towards the end of the album, the Reid’s production quality really does shine, where Francis’ voice can seem like a bit of a one-trick pony. It’s hard to say who is the more valuable of this duo; it’s Francis’ voice that probably landed them in the lime-like for its uniqueness in the genre, but over the course of a full album I’d be tempted to give Reid the points. It is this inability to separate them that will probably have them as stayers in the modern electronic music scene for years to come.
The debut album from these very unique individuals shows us what is capable when they act as one. Synergy is probably the biggest thing I took from this album, as it’s second to none, though sometimes the synergy is put into creating some nice music as opposed to what they are fully capable of. Nonetheless, an album you’ll have to give a chance to see whether it gets stuck in your head or passes through like high school maths.