The South-London dance-pop outfit Chew Lips, led by singular front lady Tigs and accompanied by the multi-instrumentalists Sanderson and Watkins, adorned many a “ones to watch” list in 2009.
And indeed the adept boy-girl-boy trio stormed the British electronic dance-pop scene last year. Chew Lips showed considerable songwriting skill when releasing two singles on Kitsune, ¨Solo¨ and ¨Salt Air¨, and have now released their debut album Unicorn through Family. Then they showed considerable guts and left both those tracks off the album.
The result is startling – Chew Lips take us on an astonishing jaunt on Unicorn, consorted by teeth-hurting sweet vocals, striking bass lines, persistent drums and dartly synthesizers. The album locomotes from slow, affective ballads like ¨Piano Song¨ and the somewhat sinister track ¨Gold Key¨ to rhythmic dancefloor fillers such as ¨Play Together¨ and, the most appealing track of the album,¨Seven¨. And although Unicorn provides us a wide variety of flavors and melodies, every track leans heavily on Tigs’ exquisite and severe vocals.
And precisely this combination of vocals and vigorously assembled instrumentals is what distinguishes Chew Lips from the current flood of other electro-pop artists, there’s more acuity to it. Unicorn is a record you’ll want to listen to until you know every sound and strain by heart.
Review: Izza Brouwer