English Electro/Alternative band Stateless, who were born out of a Creative Music and Sound Technology course at Leeds Met School of Technology back in 2002, are back with a new single 'I'm On Fire' featuring the haunting vocal talents of Shara Worden (lead singer and songwriter for My Brightest Diamond).
Stateless are far from just another bland, guitar-based indie band; in fact, they're pretty much the opposite. Combining echoing atmospheric accompaniments and soaring vibrato-laden falsetto with the electronic beats and squelches of fuzzy, sample-ridden trip-hop, Stateless' sound is something quite unique and continues to evolve throughout Matilda. Also fusing neo-classical influenced string-led waltz feels alongside strong flavours of different global musical cultures, Matilda, their second full-length album, showcases much ambition, variety and determination.
During the first seconds of opening track 'Curtain Call', guitar and vocals emerge gradually from a bed of electronic sounds; Buckley-esque vibrato-laden vocals then continue to soar over heavily delayed guitar sounds and whooshing, meandering synthesisers. Later, when electronic beats kick in, the track suddenly chops from its' suspense driven, atmospheric, alternative-rock opening into a fuzzy, sample-ridden, trip-hop blend complete with a forceful beat. A similar unpredictable variety of sounds in former single 'Ariel' which evolves from a sitar-like sounding introduction echoing the blend of a different musical culture, to a hip hop vibe sounding squeaking and squelching synths and electronic samples then moving onto a much sparser sounding piano-accompanied section before snapping back to the hip hop groove. Even from the opening tracks, it's clear that the intelligent blend of genres and cultures is more central to Stateless' music than constructing strong choruses , for example; 'Assassinations' in particular emphasises that beats are intentionally more dominant than melodies. During 'Assassinations', percussion continues to dominate over the gentle suggestion of glockenspiel sounding electric piano, then the track sounds a gradual build of layers and noise before plunging into a fuzz-ridden, grunge-meets-hip hop break. The spacey instrumental track 'Red Sea' then provides contrast to the previous grunge-tinged noise with an electric piano and guitar blend loaded with echoing reverb which swells and fades atmospherically like waves of sound which eventually allow gentle picked acoustic guitar to seep through.
Continue reading: Stateless, Matilda Album Review
Leeds band Stateless are back with their first single 'Ariel' from their forthcoming album Matilda to be released in 2011. Stateless' journey up until now has certainly been an interesting one, having been signed to Sony and !K7 previously, they now find a home at the fantastic independent label Ninja Tune - who actually featured 'Ariel' on their epic XX Box set. Stateless have been championed by DJ Shadow whose involvement and interest has allowed cool collaborations for them and possibly much needed support for a group who continually attempt to push and fuse musical boundaries.
Continue reading: Stateless, Ariel Single Review