Mojo (UK)

Wo­voka Gentle

★★★ Start Clang­ing Cym­bals NUDE. CD/DL/LP

- James McNair Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ex­per­i­men­tal trio makes com­plex psych-pop de­but.

A ‘come hither’ act thanks to song ti­tles such as 1,000 Opera Singers Work­ing In Starbucks, Lon­don trio Wo­voka Gentle hold no truck with con­ven­tional song struc­tures. Theirs is a ri­otous, often joy­ous sound, with el­e­ments of col­lage, sam­pled spo­ken­word, avant-garde brass, elec­tron­ica and ‘60s psy­che­delic folk, yet the best melodies and slick­est pro­duc­tion tropes re­call Tears For Fears at their most outré and grandiose (wit­ness Small Vic­tory and Gen­nesaret), or maybe po­etic ‘80s folkies Shel­leyan Or­phan with a pro­nounced mu­sic-tech over­haul. Al­though the man­i­festly short at­ten­tion spans of Wil­liam Stokes and twin sis­ters Imo­gen and Ellie Ma­son of­fer few easy hand­holds (even the pretty trad folk of Xerxes ’19 soon segues to glitchy elec­tron­ica and a treated sam­ple of a Kam­pala chil­dren’s choir), you have to ad­mire Start Clang­ing Cym­bals’ am­bi­tion and self­as­sured dar­ing.

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