Music: The Hundred in the Hands * * * *
Brooklyn has been heralded as the hottest place on the planet for new music for several years now, and its status has been bolstered with this exceptional debut from comparative newcomers Eleanore Everdell and Jason Friedman.
Over the course of a short but utterly captivating album, the oh-so-cool pair mine a seam of dream-pop gold. Their songs are cut from the same cloth as those other American boy-girl duos, Joy Zipper and Beach House, but there's also room for retro synth-pop, punk rave ups, straight up alternative rock and old-school disco.
Everdell handles the vocals while Friedman creates the sonic backdrop. Her disaffected singing, coupled with his clever-clever guitar and synth sounds, somehow manages to sound fresh and exciting despite the obvious influences.
A handful of producers were enlisted, including Richard X, who knows a thing or two about chart-friendly music with a difference.
Unsurprisingly, there's a commercial strain running through this album, with the effervescent Dressed in Dresden -- the song that got the tastemakers excited about this band earlier in the year -- remaining a potential hit in the making.
Pigeons is another pop sugar rush that the likes of Lady Gaga would love to have in their armoury. Even better is the remix of the song, courtesy of occasional Hot Chip and Keane reworker, Kwes.
Although Friedman is an astute musician and his material is loaded with hook-heavy surprises, it's Everdell's bittersweet vocals that pack the greatest punch. Her delivery elevates Love Sick (Once Again) to a lofty plain -- truly, this is one of the most remarkable pop songs of 2010. Once heard, you're unlikely to forget it.
Later this month, they will embark on a US tour with The Temper Trap, ideal exposure to take this band to another level. Their music deserves to be heard by a wide audience. Watch this space.
Burn it: Love Sick (Once Again); Dressed in Dresden