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Review: Alunageorge – Body Music

July 22, 2013

Music | by Danny & Josh

AG-5 (Credit Fiona Garden)

A scorcher of a season deserves a soundtrack sublime enough to soothe sizzling summer skin, provide the perfect accompaniment to a parched sun soaked park or beach and lead you into the long, laid back evenings: ‘Body Music,’ the impressive debut from London based duo AlunaGeorge, does just that. With a distinct hint of 90s R&B combined with contemporary electro-pop, Body Music chimes as refreshingly and pleasantly as an ice-cream van breaking through a blisteringly blissful July afternoon, delivering delectable vocals that dance delicately over pop production perfection.

After causing a stir with the digital release of EP You Know You Like It in April 2012, assisted by their mesmerising monochrome viral sensation of a video, AlunaGeorge’s popularity and presence is now primed for the upcoming festival season. From July 21st it is difficult to name a festival that the electro-pop pair are not billed to perform at, as their schedule is well and truly packed from then on, kicking off an impressive tour at Benicassim in Spain then covering practically every corner of the globe until late November. Forming in 2009 after George (Reid) the instrumental element in the AlunaGeorge compound remixed a track for Aluna Francis’ previous band My Toys Like Me. After humble beginnings in Reid’s bedroom, the duo have established a fresh and modern sound that’s completely of the moment, and earned themselves a series of nominations including the sought after BRITs Critic’s Choice Award, previously won by the likes of internationally renowned Florence and the Machine. Despite losing out to Tom Odell at this year’s awards, AlunaGeorge are undoubtedly set for the mainstream as hits such as the undeniably addictive Attracting Flies are currently completely unavoidable.

Thanks to Francis’ candyfloss vocals spun sweetly around Reid’s superbly subtle basslines, the entire album maintains a reassuringly confident identity. Although lyrically slightly underwhelming, Francis still provides enough bitterness to act as an antithesis to her sugary yet soulful sound to burst any traces of bubblegum. As a debut, the album effortlessly establishes an amalgamation of influence and innovation, taking inspiration from the likes of The Neptunes but clearly moving forward with a crisp, clean and catchy arrangement. Although fairly consistent and certainly palatable throughout, the album peaks after Your Drums, pushing all the hits rather hastily within the first four tracks of the album, a decision which hopefully will not resonate with the relatively instantaneous success of Francis and Reid.

With the mainstream on the horizon and an ever increasing popularity, the duo’s image is inevitably at risk, with more emphasis often being placed on the enviably attractive Aluna in addition to a rather unnecessary re-release of the video for You Know You Like It, set in an unconvincingly ‘urban’ party in a drained swimming pool. Putting the unfortunate re-release aside, Body Music will be a summertime staple on many a Spotify account over the coming months, supplying a beautiful yet bassy backdrop to festival campsites and BBQs alike.

Emma Austin.