One of the first bands announced for next year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas, CHEW LiPS are quite literally a band going places. Signed to the unimaginably hip French electronica label Kitsuné, they seem to be perched right a-top the cutting edge.
At this point one might be imagining the next Crystal Castles; a blaring cacophony incomprehensible to anyone but self-proclaimed ‘musos’. However, shrouded under a layer of hype and scenesters lies something you might not expect; CHEW LiPS are a rather sweet pop-group.
Set for release in January, their upcoming record Unicorn has been produced by David Kosten. Famed for his work on Bat for Lashes’ Mercury nominated second LP, Kosten seems a natural collaborator. While vocalist Tigs possesses a poppier sheen than Bat for Lashes’ Natasha Khan, she shares the ability to gleefully warble away the end of phrases. Indeed both Tigs and Khan have something of an ethereal quality about them, as if their voices belong to the same angelic apperition.
Instrumentally though, the group escape comparison to Kosten’s previous venture and are more easily likened to LCD Soundsystem. ‘Karen’ shows they posses the ability to craft gently throbbing electro interspersed with riffs that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Interpol record.
However it’s ‘Slick’ that does best to showcase their sound. A mimalist bass line plays host to a swathe of twinkling electronica but ultimately it’s all driven by Tigs’ playful vocals. The track hooks almost instantly before retreating into it’s own melody and building to a layered finale.
With Little Boots and La Roux hitting the top of the charts, synth-pop might be the breakthrough sound of 2009 but on this evidence 2010 won’t look much different.