Bella Union

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - TONY CLAY­TON-LEA

Dig be­neath the ap­peal­ing sur­face of this oddly named duo (the mid­dle names of Manch­ester-based Nick De­lap and Greta Car­roll) and you’ll dis­cover more than ob­vi­ous Lon­don Gram­mar and The xx com­par­isons. De­lap was a mem­ber of once-tipped Egyptian Hip Hop, so he knows about up­end­ing ex­pec­ta­tions, and while the Bernard+Edith ethos isn’t nec­es­sar­ily un­pre­dictable there is a sense that there’s more go­ing on here than you might have ini­tially thought. Take the po­tent eastern prom­ises of I Will Be and

China, which in­sin­u­ate like snakes around wrists; the echoes of Cocteau Twins and Por­tishead in Croc­o­diles and Ti­dal Wave; and

Poppy, which has a sin­is­ter Sade-like R&B un­der­tow. Topped off with su­perb vo­cals from Car­roll, it is a de­but al­bum of as­tute, un­con­ven­tional pop-noir. bel­lau­

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