New artist of the week: Bodega
What: Sarky art-rockers who are done with the scene
Why: The Great Escape Festival in Brighton last week had its fair share of buzzed-about bands in the industry, but there was one name that was on everyone's lips. Bodega's two shows at the new music festival showed the word-of-mouth hype on the ground with their first being well-attended but their second a day later, had a line around the block nearly an hour before the show.
It’s easy to hear why the New York band caused such activity. The five-piece band recall the best parts of art-rock, post-punk and agit-pop with some witty sensibility.
That snarkiness may be because band founders Ben Hozie and Nikki Belfiglio started as filmmakers who formed the "prankster rock" band Bodega Bay before this incarnation. With vocals that are at once droll and poetic, the band have found a place that doesn't just come from a place of jest.
The band's song How Did This Happen? trades on razor-sharp guitar and kraut rhythms with lyrics about nonchalance in the face of protest. "I see you walk past the demonstration / Two chips on your shoulder / You're a culture connoisseur and your pain is real," the pair sing in tandem in infectious call-and-response.
The accompanying video makes use of the band’s film-making prowess by presenting a 360-degree performance of a song in a New York club to an audience – half are engaged and half are looking at their phones or band members waiting for their turn to play.
The band's debut album title Endless Scroll exemplifies their cultural commentary status and is out next Friday. Shrug your shoulders or get involved?
You have to hear this . . . Christine And The Queens – Girlfriend
Two years on from the French artist's breakthrough album Chaleur Humaine, Héloïse Letissier is back and has teamed up with West Coast G-funk artist and Snoop Dogg collaborator Dam Funk for a lustful slice of magnetic synth-pop that explores gender stereotypes. It arrived with its original French version so you can get double the helping.
You have to hear this . . . Hookworms – Negative Space
What do you get if you cross the DNA of alt-rockers At The Drive-In with the electronic pop of Passion Pit? Something quite close to the sound that the Leeds five-piece Hookworms have arrived at on their new album Microshift.
Negative Space is the first seven minutes of the record, an expansive anthemic opening salvo that sounds like it was constructed in James Murphy's studio. An absolute earworm. Catch them at Forbidden Fruit.