Sunday, 29 May 2016

Grand Band Names: The Amazing - Iconique

The Amazing - Ambulance.

Background promo - Partisan Records is excited to announce the next album from The Amazing, Ambulance, coming out in the UK on August 5th. On Ambulance, the Swedish band composed of members of Dungen & led by Christoffer Gunrup, continues their journey to a place where music is free of restrictions, offering up another collection of densely concentrated melodies and fractured rhythms. Pitchfork summed their sound up well on their last record, saying "discussion of Picture You can only end up with slack-jawed remarks about how goddamn pretty it is."

Gunrup, the band's lead singer, songwriter and one of three main guitarists, has been playing music all his life. He's a serious musician with a self-effacing demeanor who is known for his reluctance to talk about his process, preferring to let the music speak for itself. He refuses to take part in the promotion of the band, never reveals the lyrics, which are often an impenetrable jumble in the mix, and expresses little satisfaction with any of the music he's recorded.

The Amazing came together a few years after Gunrup's former group, Granada [a renowned Scandinavian pop duo w/ his ex-wife], broke up and he asked Dungen's guitarist and former drummer (Reine Fiske and Fredrik Björling) to join him onstage. After a few personal shifts, the line-up settled down with Fiske on guitar; Fredrik Swahn on guitar and keys; bass player Alexis Benson and drummer Moussa Fadera. The band's previous four records have garnered a loyal following & critical acclaim, landing them on Letterman and on a world tour with Tame Impala.

While Picture You was bright, exploding outward to explore the limits of experience, this next instalment, Ambulance, is more intimate, imploding inward to reconnoitre the uncharted distances that exist between us, even in life's most intimate moments.

'Ambulance' the title track from the forthcoming album, has a hazy, dreamy feel to it. The Amazing are a band who have crafted their skills over time and clearly, have a good ear for excellently produced music. The direction of the forthcoming LP is quite intriguing, and on the strength of this song, could well be a fascinating listen.

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Iconique - Sitting Pretty.

Background promo - How can disco be ethereal? Los Angeles-based trio, Iconique, praised by Gawker Media and  featured  on  Hype Machine, creates something otherworldly with their new single “Sitting Pretty.” The retro-inspired song, second from the group who have been noted as “evoking  memories of disco  icons  like  Sylvester,” by Surviving the Golden Age, is a synthesis of influences like Prince, David  Bowie, and Chic. The band’s previous single, “Step Into The Mood,” boasts over 24,000 plays on  Soundcloud and receives regular radio airplay on KUCI and KCHUNG.

“Sitting Pretty” starts small with a bed of warm synths and drum fills, before bursting into a glistening disco groove. Synthesizer arpeggios and staccato guitar soon give way to frontman Leo Paparella’s knowing speak-sing delivery. The chorus heightens the song’s temperature as Paparella’s vocals take flight—and that’s only the first minute and a half. Even at a brisk four minutes and 22 seconds, “Sitting Pretty” transports you to the back of a dim nightclub circa 1980. Though it may seem like it’s birthed from a bygone era, musically and lyrically, the song is as intriguing now as it would have been then.

Iconique's heavy disco rhythms entwine with silky synth highlights to encapsulate the shimmering grit of the Los Angeles music scene. Self-produced and written, their material lures listeners to the dance floor with a medley of genres ranging from dance to art rock. Formed in 2015, the trio consists of brothers Eric Promani (drums / synths) and Greg Promani (guitar), and frontman Leo Paparella (vocals / synths). 

Live - Labyrinth 30th Anniversary Event @ Central Park, Glendale on June 4th, 2016. 


Iv'e got to be honest Disco was never a big thing for me back in the day. 'Sitting Pretty' however is a song that wanders across genres with a clear disco reference point. Vocals remind me a little of Russell Mael, whilst the harmonies veer towards The Bee Gees circa their disco era. It's a good song, simple as that really & I can tick off a number genre covered by Beehive Candy:)

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