Look, new music from new artists is always exciting. However, it doesn’t always floor you the way that this new single by Earl Gray Collective does. Ramping up for the release of their new EP, this first tease ‘Landslide’ is a bombastic indie-disco crossover worthy of Chic. Up and coming tunes can sometimes taper their ambitions, but not this one. Brace yourself, dear reader, for this new track is bigger, it’s better; it’s too much for Mr Incredible.
The South London 4 piece, named not for the light delicate tea but for the genius combination of the founders’ surnames (‘Earl’ and ‘Gray’), deliver all sorts of grandiose elements on this track. Yes, there’s soft pillowy keyboards and crisp bass-lines, pounding drums and duelling guitars (more on them later), but there’s also enormous strings that flitter between chirpy staccato and lush chordal swells.
It’s the kind of sophisticated arrangement you expect to hear from bands of a much higher pedigree, and channels the same joyous energy of The 1975 and Jungle (especially Jungle, actually), albeit with a more understated vocal performance in the verses. All this culminates in a big wall of sound during the song’s signature moments. And what a dominating wall of sound it is.
The song is funky, gnarly and full of passion. It also earns its moments. For most tracks, a bombastic dual guitar solo would come off as indulgent and corny. For Earl Gray Collective, it isn’t. A lot of acts throw in these kinds of solos without any regard for structure or building up the energy, but a big anthemic track with so much power behind it, needs to really lift you before it can slam you with a gnarly solo. ‘Landslide’ strikes that balance perfectly. The band hit a ceiling and smash through it, only ever soaring upwards, and they have every right to do so.
The performances are tight, the tone of everything is just right, and there’s a lovely blend of party mentalities with some really gorgeous and melancholic chords. With its unrelenting groove and disco fraternizations, ’Landslide’ is not for the faint hearted, and will put an unprecedented spring in your step. An essential summer track, and one that heralds big things for Earl Gray Collective.