Attic tunes for your self-isolation
You bored? Of course you are. We're all going insane. While we're all stuck inside though, you might as well use the time productively and listen to 'Soundtrack', the newest single from North London indie-soul spinners AtticOmatic.
'Soundtrack' is a shining example of just how polished the underground can sound. Supported by Kenny Arthur's emphatically retro bassline, this newest track finds its feet firmly planted on the solid ground of bygone soul, complete with a perfectly complimentary synth tone from Kamran Kaur. AtticOmatic's influences aren't immediately easy to identify though. I am reminded of the *feelings* of funk and soul, but the group have entirely managed to evoke those styles without even coming close to simple imitation. 'Soundtrack' sounds unique, but in close connection with the legacies of laid back keys, slap bass and irresistible drum grooves (provided by the excellent Kai Raghunath) resulting in a tune that comes across both as entirely original and warmly tethered to the past.
The group does however fall into the trap that many up-and-coming artists find themselves in, confusing a long and methodical buildup for the required way to open their music. This opening feels cinematic and mysterious - slowly expanding as the band enters in step - but I wonder if this is really the best way for the track to begin. It is obvious to hear that AtticOmatic are an incredibly talented quartet, but the tune takes 30 seconds before the drums kick in, and the song's long introduction doesn't really do anything interesting enough to warrant its length. 'Soundtrack' would have benefited from getting to the music with a bit more urgency and tightening up its near-five minute run time.
Once we're in though, the supremely inviting tone of vocalist Lorcán Forder takes centre stage. Balancing his sound somewhere between a gravelly Declan McKenna and an uber-optimistic King Krule, Forder drives the track forward with an excellent delivery of sparkling melodies and inventive lyricism. The tune could probably have jumped directly into the chorus at [1:47] instead of losing momentum with a few seconds of empty space, but as the hook kicks in the bands vocalists all combine into a gorgeously tuneful mesh.
Lorcán's jump up in intensity at [2:53] is incredibly satisfying and effective at demanding attention from its listeners. Brilliant in its brevity, this short moment of vocal power is electric and I'd love to hear the frontman sing like this more. This takes nothing away from the softer performances that appear throughout the track though, being excellent in their own right. The overlapping vocal deliveries of the chorus will embed themselves in your head, and hearing Forder question "will you be visited by someone else?" certainly hits with a real blast of vulnerable insecurity. As the tune takes its truly funky turn in the final third, Arthur's bass line is gnarly filth. I can't help but screw my face up at how well it churns up the earth at the feet of the mix, laying the foundations for an impressively crafted conclusion and bringing together a rewarding end to a good song.
This is by our reckoning one of the most impressive songs to come out of the UK underground in the month of March, particularly from a band of this size. Expect to see them in our monthly playlist come April 1st.
Listen to 'Sountrack' here:
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Ben Wheadon is editor and founder of Slow Motion Panic Masters. He is a Welsh musician and English Literature student at King's College, London and he should be writing a dissertation instead of creating a blog.
Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based in London, England.
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