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AlunaGeorge : Body Music

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Arriving on a wave of word-of-mouth hype big enough to drown most new bands, the debut album from London duo AlunaGeorge comes with high expectations built-in as standard: the group made the short lists for both the BBC Sound Of 2013 and this year’s Brits Critics’ Choice awards (although they ultimately lost out in both cases, to Haim and Tom Odell respectively) and have gained increasing support from the UK’s music-buying general public with every single released. To Aluna Francis and George Reid’s credit, Body Music lives up to those expectations with its unique and insanely catchy fusion of UK bass and minimalist US R&B. On previously heard cuts like “You Know You Like It” and “Just A Touch“, producer Reid builds scrappy little underdog bruisers from sharp percussive pops, crisp snares and video game melodies anchored with growling low-end pulses over which vocalist Francis gets to indulge her inner rude girl, swaggering like a girl guide doing hairbrush Ciara impressions in the mirror; the more overt pop hits fare even better, with “Your Drums, Your Love” adding lovers rock dancehall vibes and the irrepressible “Attracting Flies” offering what has to be the cutest way ever committed to record (“Little grey fairy tales and little white lies/ Everything you exhale is attracting flies”) of telling someone they’re full of shit. New tracks like the sunny, grooving “Kaleidoscope Love” and funky house number “Lost And Found” introduce yet more intoxicating twists, whilst the title track, “Diver”, “Outlines” and closer “Friends To Lovers” slow down the tempo to prove Francis can pull off the sensual Aaliyah thang just as well as those sweetly sassy Lily Allen-meets-Robyn moves. A couple of tracks fall short of the mark – the mushy sentiments of “Superstar” stick out like a sore thumb, and the well-meaning but ill-advised cover of Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” should be treated as the “bonus” track it is rather than part of the album proper – but on the whole Body Music is an accomplished and extremely impressive debut that is sure to have the red-faced suits on the Brits and BBC judging panels wishing they could go back in time and change their votes.

Body Music is out July 29 via Island (UK)/ July 30 via Vagrant (US); listen to the album in full below (note: tracks 14 – 19 are bonus cuts from the deluxe edition, available via iTunes).

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About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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