Big Fat World EP
Five-out-of-five. Quelle surprise, I know. Now, let's be honest, the question was always going to be how far into this review I could get before referencing Curve. Oops.
Right, so jokes aside Curve are one of my favourite bands, and I'm going to get all of that out of my system in one go: Dean Garcia is a genius, SPC ECO's record 3D is an opus, Rose Berlin is an incredible singer with a personality and voice all of her own, and musically on Big Fat World SPC ECO bear comparison to a more dark-ambient inflected take on the more downtempo stylings of 2002's Gift.
Though 'Feels Like Flying' is more upbeat in tone, it's still driven along at a laid-back pace by their trademark mixture of programmed and (presumably) live drums, and as such doesn't actually make as significant a change to the overall feel as you might expect; rather it more serves to round off the EP in a more strictly narrative fashion.
The real surprise is instead the title track, which unites the dual virtues of being both upbeat and up-tempo. It's saccharine dream-pop at the genre's most intoxicating and joyful, and brings to mind 'Clean Coloured Wire' or 'Subtober' by Engineers in its use of texture and dynamic shifts, surely no bad thing. Throughout, Berlin's vocals rise above the instruments, counterpointing or intertwining where appropriate, and occasionally hitting perfect resonance with the thick basslines of Garcia.
Basically, this EP is just fucking great, and what's more, it's now fucking free. As Sean Connery would say, “sherioushly? YESH!” Man, I can't believe I just wrote that.