Andy Stott: Violence, Faith in Strangers (Modern Love, 2014)
Andy Stott’s previous work – including 2012’s full length, Luxury Problems and 2011’s EPs Passed Me By and We Stay Together – was often cloaked in shadows. Murky textures and dark, angular visions shrouded in a fog of dense bass rhythms; human vocals and other sounds fighting to be heard from beneath the ice of a frozen lake.
The two new tracks teased thus far from Stott’s upcoming follow-up, Faith In Strangers — “Violence” and the title track – allow a glimmer of light to penetrate the mists. Each includes vocals courtesy of Luxury cohort Alison Skidmore.
In “Violence”, Skidmore’s mumbled vocals are out front in the mix and distinguishable from the enveloping drunken haze – shot through with repeated satellite bursts of melody. When the beat stomps in – initially with about 1:00 left – the song opens wide and shows it’s jaws, sounding like an industrial, more antagonistic Portishead.
‘Faith in Strangers’ shocks, initially, with a slinky bass line, a snappy snare/hi hat tone and higher octave organ chords – somewhere between Aphex Twin and Liquid Liquid. The melody is infectious, swooning – rather than mining beauty from miasma, this one wears its loveliness on its sleeve. Skidmore’s reverbed vocals wind in and out, with a youthful quality somewhat reminiscent of late 80s indie or shoegaze.
Both are brilliant, and make Faith in Strangers (due November 17/18, depending on your location) on Modern Love Records, very highly anticipated.
“Violence” is available for download now, through iTunes.