Electrelane The Power Out

Two years ago when Brighton, England’s Electrelane released their debut album, the band was strictly instrumental, fashioning songs after soundtracks you’d only hear in the seats of an art house cinema. Deciding now that their music needs vocals, the female four-piece has decided to try their hand at singing. Thankfully, the progression has worked in their favour. Electrelane has raised their game using unorthodox measures to convey their interests. Recorded by Steve Albini, The Power Out, their first album for Too Pure, utilises the multilingual talents of singer Verity Susman, featuring vocals sung in four different languages (English, French, German and Spanish). Like 2002’s exciting single "I Want To Be The President,” the band shows less emphasis on noisy, droning guitars and perforating organs, opting for many different tempos and moods. These changes bring up obvious and undeniable comparisons to Stereolab, especially songs like "Oh Somba!” and "Love Builds Up,” which use so many forward-thinking ideas. Yet it’s Electrelane’s diversity amongst the 11 tracks that keeps them fresh and unlike any one band. "The Valleys” is a prime example of such variation, as it captures a 12-person choir performing one of the most unexpected vocal deliveries this year. The Power Out is an exceptional record that shows major growth and an improvement that wasn’t necessary but very welcome. (Too Pure)