December 18th, 2011 | Published in Electronica
A Vivoscene Feature Review by Brian Miller
Sizzling is the only word for the music of Aloosh. The English group consists of vocalist Jodie Scantlebury, producer/multi instrumentalist Alastair McNeill, bassist Jack Allinson and drummer Joshua Blackmore. They release their new single Armour this week (on 05/12/11). As electrifying as the 80s collaboration between Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, Aloosh has a unique mix of vocals and brilliantly inventive instrumentation.
Starting out as a jazz singer, Jodie Scantlebury first began touring life singing backing vocals for Roisin Murphy on the ‘Overpowered’ tour where she met fellow Aloosh cohort Alastair McNeill, before lending her vocal talents to the Noisettes with whom she has touring plans. In between these two major tours she has worked with artists such as Cee-Lo Green, Eliza Doolittle, Mr. Hudson and the Wombats. Her most recent recording credits are with Crookers, the next Noisettes album and studio time last year with Kele Okereke where Jodie sang backing vocals and a duet on his solo project ‘The Boxer.
Jodie’s voice is soulful, sultry and direct, not at all what we’re used to when combined with electronica. Even on low-key moody introspective numbers like “Post Office Cloud Conclusion” mix her voice cuts through the shimmering electric piano and quietly but deeply infuses itself into the listener’s mind.
Alastair McNeill (also known under the production moniker ‘Yila’) has equally impressive credentials. Having studied Sonic Art at university he is always pushing boundaries, experimenting and bringing new imagery to Aloosh’s musical spectrum. A member of the experimental collective David Toops Unknown Devices he recently remixed Roisin Murphy’s track ‘Demon Lover’ feat. He is also garnering rave reviews in the blogosphere and is set to produce Scroobius Pip’s new solo album.
Key tracks on the EP are “Armour” and the “Armour Remix with the Noisettes” – the former is stunning on its own and one would think it could scarcely be bettered. With some stellar guitar, great keys work, a slow build and Jodie’s irresistible vocal, “Armour” is a haunting track with some killer lyrics that may not look like much on paper, but hear the track once and you won’t forget it. Then there’s the remix, rendering the song a complete re-creation that begs to differ with everything that’s just been said. It’s a terrific idea to include both versions on the upcoming EP as they are effectively much different songs.
You’ve got to let go
Be more carefree
Have some abandon
But don’t abandon me”
You can hear Armour and the remix for yourself on SoundCloud through this link.
Already Aloosh have bagged support from key tastemakers such as Rob Da Bank, Tom Robinson, John Kennedy and Eddy Temple-Morris. The debut album will be released in early 2012, and judging by what we’ve heard so far, they’d better prepare themselves for a major breakout.
Watch: bonus live track “Butter”