A joyous debut, equally assured as soundtrack to a tear-stained pillow or as spur to the dancefloor.
Arthur and Martha are Adam Cresswell and Alice Hubley, two long-socked, London-based Moog-twitchers making music that yearns for the future. Quite the thing to be doing at the moment, of course, but while Little Boots and La Roux bring cosmic gloss to the party, Arthur and Martha sit on the sidelines, nerdily fixing their drum machines. Their songs do something different too, combining the geeky sounds of C86 indie pop with krautrock's motorik rhythms and giving teh while album a sheen of strange innocence. On the relentless Autovia and the dreamy Vallorian they recall Stereolab and Hubley's deep, occasionally off-key vocals have teh same askew beaty as Sarah Cracknell from Saint Etienne. But Navigation has harder moments too, and that's when it really soars. Music For Hairproducts is a squelchy Goldfrapppish classic, while Turn to Dust is an epic about leaving the city that has teh kitchen-sink charm of Dubstar and the ambition of ABBA. "Sometimes I want to get away, shall we leave today?" Hubley says, before adding, rather sweetly "I'm glad you're with me." So should we all be.
Jude Rodgers - Word
They've constructed a really diverse album, taking in quite hardy, familiar sounds from years gone by & forging fresh, durable, feisty songs that stick in your head like audio glue, putting a smile on this man's face for ooooh, maybe the second time this week! It's a wonderful journey, spanning decades of inspiration, largely built around analogue-soaked cool European anthems whilst simultaneously offering up some sturdy, modern dancefloor friendly action with remarkable finesse. Get this, it's a total winner!
The production is predictably warm and rotund sounding, but this is no nerdy love-in - these two make electronic pop music in the classic mold, deriving influence from the likes of New Order and Pet Shop Boys, whilst also often recalling Piano Magic and Rephlex easy listening popsters The Gentle People. Singles 'Autovia' and 'Music For Hair Products' are especially immediate, but there's plenty of vintage synth fun to get stuck into right across the LP.