ALBUM: The Wants – ‘Container’

Formed by Madison Velding-VanDam and Heather Elle from New York art-punk band Bodega, The Wants‘ debut album Container is a punchy, defiant, riot of a record that simultaneously reflects and resists anxiety, on both a personal and wider scale. With its swaggering beats, techno influences, and to-the-point lyricism; it flows seamlessly from track-to-track demanding uninterrupted listening from the offset.

The Wants began taking shape when drummer Jason Gates and Velding-VanDam met in New York in 2014, but became fully formed while Velding-VanDam and Elle were working together under the Bodega moniker years later. Realising they all had a passion for electronic music, the three began writing together, and Container is the result of this collaboration.

Instrumental opener ‘Ramp’ commands attention with its thudding kick drum, while eponymous track ‘Container’ pulses with brooding bass lines and deadpan lyrical delivery. Pounding instrumental ‘Machine Room’ bleeds in to ‘Fear My Society’. “Will you love me if I’m a failure?” agonises Velding-VanDam, over funky beats and surprisingly buoyant synths. It feels odd to dance around to a track that’s fueled by anxiety and alienation, but it’s a natural response to The Wants driving rhythms.

Making space to individually review each of Container‘s tracks feels odd, as the record is such a cohesive creation, where each track transitions smoothly in to the next. Instrumental ‘Aluminium’ blends in to the unsettling ‘Ape Trap’. “I will stay a deviant, or else I die of boredom” Velding-VanDam sings, desperate to escape his metaphorical cell. Instrumental ‘Waiting Room’ builds on this tension, until its relieved by the confessional ‘Clearly A Crisis’. “I have no intimacy, I’m never vul-ner-able” – Velding-VanDam takes care to repeat, and speak this line with intense clarity.

The funky beats on ‘Nuclear Party’ float around as the cute threat of “kiss my bombs” ricochets between your ears. The bouncy ‘Hydra’ follows, before eerie instrumental ‘Voltage’ closes the record on a somber note. It’s a striking offering, with each scratch, pulse, and echo captured clearly. The band recorded the album in their bedrooms and their rehearsal space — a re-purposed HANJIN shipping container situated in the middle of a dumpling factory parking lot — so it’s a testament to their personal, and joint production skills that these elements can be heard in the mix.

With their myriad of influences – including the literature of Jenny Holzer, the sounds of The National, and a love for techno –  The Wants have created a sonic space on Container that’s somewhere between the catchy electronics of Depeche Mode, the angsty lyrics of early Sonic Youth. It’s a distracting record, in the best possible way, and deserves your undivided attention.

Listen to Container in full here. Follow The Wants on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Madison Carroll

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Jennifer Touch – ‘Chemistry’

A smoldering, dark electro-pop gem; Jennifer Touch‘s latest single ‘Chemistry’ is a seductive, bold new offering. Lifted from her debut album Behind the Wall, which is set for release via FatCat on 24th April, the Dresden-born, Berlin-based musician wrote the track in the midst of a depressive episode.

“’Chemistry’ is the base of all of the songs on the record” explains Touch. “It was created on a Sunday in my studio when I felt kind of depressed with everything, useless and alone. I knew I had the music inside, but it felt like it was stuck. I started by experimenting with some sounds from the Nordlead I had borrowed from a friend. I’m really happy with how it turned it out”

It’s this harnessing of Touch’s nervous energy that makes ‘Chemistry’ such an interesting listen. The restless, looping synths underscore her measured, confident vocal delivery, giving the track its slow-burning power. Touch blends elements of 80’s pop with the techno of Berlin’s underground music scene, creating moody, cinematic soundscapes.

Inspired by her father’s record collection, featuring Human League, Karat and Duran Duran, as well as the likes of The KLF, Karen O and PJ Harvey; Touch’s influences have filtered through into her own sound. Listen to ‘Chemistry’ below, and follow Jennifer Touch on Facebook and Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: ZAMILSKA – ‘Hollow’

Dense, rhythmic, hypnotic beats permeate Polish producer ZAMILSKA‘s new single ‘Hollow’, the first track released from her upcoming album due later this summer. The jagged soundscape combines techno textures and intriguing vocal samples to reflect “the anxiety of what we want vs what we get”.

From Silesia, the coal-mining region of Poland, Natalia Zamilska’s music combines both melodic and industrial elements in a beautiful yet brutal fashion. Her work has attracted the attention of Nine Inch Nails, who recommended one of her tracks on their official Spotify playlist and recently she stepped into the gaming world and contributed to RUINER (Digital Dragon Award 2018 winner Best Polish Game Soundtrack), which features her music heavily throughout.

ZAMILSKA has also garnered acclaim from Radio BBC 6 Music’s Iggy Pop, Mary Anne Hobbs and Tom Ravenscroft, and with her superb remix of Gazelle Twin’s ‘Belly of the Beast’ which was played on the ABC series How To Get Away With Murder.

With her ability to create beats that ricochet around our skulls and her obvious talent for collaborating, we’re biting our nails in anticipation of ZAMILSKA’s upcoming record. Listen to ‘Hollow’ below and follow ZAMILSKA on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut