Not often does a sound like AlunaGeorge’s find its way into the hearts of the masses. Many people don’t want pure undiluted talent and bask in an artist with trivial “qualities” such as good looks, “charisma” or an addictive mass fan-base so for AlunaGeorge to slip their music through the skin then to soar through the bloodstream is awe-inspiring. AlunaGeorge are made up of the sugared vocals of Aluna Francis and maverick producer George Reid – both from London.
The electronic duo earned the admiration of the BBC at the start of the year when they were shortlisted for the BBC Sound of 2013 and they have gone from strength to strength this year. Ensuring their continued success this year, AlunaGeorge unveil their debut album Body Music which is out now, showcasing a variety of George’s eclectic production qualities coupled with Aluna’s constant stream of flawless vocals.
The album begins with the deft “Outlines” – soft gentle throbs of synthetic music fading into Aluna’s haunting mourn of genuine love. Her voice is husky and breathy as if the song isn’t really there to be forceful with, like whoever she’s thinking of is just as distanced as the sonics on the record. The anchor of the steady rhythm uncommon of George, highlights the lyrics of the song, “all I’ve got to keep you with me” especially well. A particularly striking component of this piece is the echoed ghostly chilling feeling that emanates through this stunning track.
The eeriness of the album continues with “You Know You Like It” which begins with what sounds like children chanting as if in a horror film but this brief intro is contrasted by the combination of bouncy drum machine interludes and synths which expand upon the playfulness of relationship games alongside lyrics such as, “you know you like it but it drives you insane“. The innocence of her voice is used as an allure mechanism hiding layers of seduction present in the smoother elements of the track.
“You Know You Like It”:
“Attracting Flies” however is inhuman and refreshing in its raw delicacy with the high pitched panpipes combined with sugary sarcasm around a tale of someone trying to outwit Aluna with “little grey fairy tales and little white lies“. However sharp electronic sounds cut in between the softness of Aluna’s voice to corroborate her lyrics, showing that AlunaGeorge have certainly not been fooled. “Kaleidoscope Love” is the antidote to the bitter “attracting flies”. It is exciting, eclectic and colourful, with lots of textured sound layered up like a kaleidoscope similar to the bubble sounds and dance beats. The music has been given an uplifting twist which is echoed by Aluna for once as usually her voice dilutes the backing music down. The effect of this encapsulates the vibrancy of being in love and the way rose tinted glasses make everything so much more exciting.
“Diver” adds to that sense of the unknown with just a touch of Ethnic bass adding layers of rhythmic spice under the modern flavour of the song courtesy of stabbing keyboard arrangements and interjecting spacey electronic sounds. The delicate stutter of the words “feel and touch” makes it flawed and human as everything is quite concentrated and repetitive with AlunaGeorge which does give them an identity. However, what makes an artist is their willingness to jump into waters unknown. ‘Water’ is definitely the theme on this record as the dynamics of the track wave over you like water with Aluna’s whispery and breathy vocals acting as the current.
“Body Music” also takes on a theme as evident from the title and I much prefer this track to “Diver”. It is quite jittery with breakdown interludes where the music “buffers” which does sound like a heartbeat at times. Here, everything flows into everything else with panpipes, xylophones and a roaring bass.The deeper sounds send vibrations throughout the listener’s body and with lyric such as “I want to feel it again“, Aluna’s deliciously silky voice allows the sensuality of the song to enforce the intimacy of body music.
Above all, vibration and cracks in George’s music dart in and out of Aluna’s slalom voice which reverberates throughout the entire album showcasing the ethereal connection the pair have. They complement each other to point where they have taken on roles in this album. The music is strength while the voice is vulnerability. The many layers of complexities, working together to make something beautiful, sums up both this album and AlunaGeorge as artists. If you’re willing to enter into an intimate ethereal experience then AlunaGeorge and Body Music will be ideal and is highly recommended.
Purchase: AlunaGeorge – Body Music (iTunes Deluxe)