To be completely honest, despite there being enough hype-laced writings about Chad Valley to make the amount of data seized from Bin Laden’s compound look like the rushed homework of a 12 year old, we weren’t expecting much. We definitely weren’t expecting his smooth balearic charm and his powerful and propulsive beats to hit with such poignancy. We weren’t expecting him to sound like what Friendly Fires would have sounded like if they’d turned towards their tropical tendencies rather than their popularist ones on their second album. And we really weren’t expecting for the Kazimier to be filled by such a striking and inescapably enormous voice every time he opened his mouth. Whether it be twiddly electronic trickery or not, it sounded undeniably perfect, leaving us with the conclusion that we really really didn’t expect; ironically, despite all of the hype, Chad Valley was the unexpected highlight of our first day at Sound City.
There are a couple of reasons why we really shouldn’t be writing this post. First off, we’re not exactly the biggest fans of remixes because the popularity of the remix back from the days of Justice seem to have created a culture where a remix is just a method of promotion for record labels, rather than a creative outlet for artists. We’re also grumpy Radiohead doom-mongerers who haven’t exactly been subscribing to the euphoric disco/electro hybrid that Australia’s happy inhabitants have been pumping out recently.
However… If there’s one exception to our ban on happy Australian music, then it’s Strange Talk. And their new remix of Wolf Gang’s “Dancing With The Devil” is, actually, a perfect match for his music. So we’re pretty confident that, yeah, sure, it’s some great promotion for both artists, but if they were to choose who to remix/remixed by, they couldn’t do any better than to choose each other. It might not change the world but, whatever, it’s summer (almost), sunny (almost) and (almost) brilliant.
Whilst we’re on the subject, we’d better be conscientious and let you know a couple of potentially useful things that you should know. First off, if you want to make a premature judgement of debut album “Suego Faults” then a 5-track sampler is just below, featuring 5 tracks that we’ve already heard, with the production pumped up slightly subtly. But if you’d rather judge him by all of his material then, yes, he’s still performing at LSC, for which wristbands are still available. Can’t complain about that.
After a surge of internet scribblings that threatened to make him 2009’s latest buzz-band-fatality, Wolf Gang has played it calmly and slowly, and is now enjoying the benefits of that approach. Yesterday, new track “Something Unusual” surfaced, another track from debut album ‘Suego Faults’ (out 27th June). And it is actually far more unconventional than most hyped artists dare to attempt, stretched out with a languid chorus, before diving into a verse more similar to his usual glam pop theatrics. It may not quite stray into Panda Bear territory, this is, after all, a pop song, but you’ve got to hand him some credit for not writing “Pieces Of You” a dozen times, slapping an album name on it, and letting the record label do their marketing tricks.
The trouble is, many hyped artists are written about solely on the basis of one or two songs, so, for them, where is the incentive to step out of that comfort zone and try something else? Blinded by what seems like success just around the corner, an enormous amount of these artists end up releasing completely lacklustre albums with no depth and variation. By playing things slowly, Wolf Gang’s allowed some time for his sound to develop, managed to avoid the apparently enticing lights of the spectacularly average indie-artist’s lifestyle, and is instead poised to deliver an album that stands a far better chance of justifying the hype than many, many of his contemporaries allow themselves.
After all of that… ‘Suego Faults’ had better be bloody amazing.