22nd May | Rough Trade
Alaskalaska, the six-piece from South London formed by Lucinda Duarte-Holman and Fraser Rieley, compose their blend of art-pop, jazz and indie with amazing dexterity. Nearly every track from Alaskalaska’s debut, The Dots, traverses multiple genres in a progressive style, while remaining accessible. ‘Sweat’ starts like a minimalist guitar ballad, but twists and turns in the manner of an experimental, acoustic track that’s something akin to a stripped-down FKA Twigs track. On the other end of the spectrum, ‘Meateater’ stomps in like a pop song that’s gone through a hybrid washing machine/time machine where the trance-like humming from the saxophone slowly transforms into a solo that could have come from a late Prince album.
A strange mark of a good song is that feeling when you’re first listening and you swear you’ve heard it before, even though you know there is no way that’s possible. It’s not that it sounds like another song or they’ve sampled another riff. The song has a familiarity that drills deep into your brain, making your synapses dance, as if the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was distilled down into one track. Alaskalaska have created an album filled with with tracks like this and seeing them live might be one of the trippiest thing you can do legally.
See the video for ‘Meateater’ here: