Mandalay for the 2020’s.
Speaker Face have created a fascinating merger of electronic beats, cellos, violins, soft vocals and electric piano. Their sound is what I would call adult chill. You can enjoy it as a laid back super smooth indietronica trio but there is plenty to dive deep into from a variety of angles if you want to.
Their debut single ‘Phosphorescence’ is a great example of how Speaker Face work. Their tracks usually have a lush electric piano melody that is spacious and warm. The beats are clean and provide a low-key rhythm that reminds me of Mandalay and the quieter moments of Frou Frou and Imogen Heap. Then over the top of these beats cello and violin loops and motifs are delicately placed. The way how they are placed in the mix and song structures though really fascinate me. Sometimes they are just delicate embellishments, other times they gently underscore the synths and keyboards. They very rarely ever take over fully and when they do, they bring a classical edge to the low key electronica. By design, it feels intimate. It feels like 2 am every track and you are being let into a secret.
Outside of the lead single, the rest of the album is full of stunners. ‘Trevor’ is a dream pop hidden gem with a soulful blues edge. ‘All My Mind’ is one of the string led pieces and reminds me of Lily & Madeleine – a dream folk duo. ‘Work Friends’ mixes jazz, downtempo beats and violin solos. Closing tracks ‘Sick Mind’ and ‘Crescent’ also play on some intricate sound design with reversed effects and spinning synths to muddy their sound. Throughout it all though – Ruby Randall’s soft siren voice coaxes you through. At no point does she ever get emotional – its always a haunted ghostly delivery. Its like the audio equivalent of having dead eyes but it absolutely works with this style of music. That’s why I say its chill out for the thinkers.
Speaker Face have a unique sound and know exactly how to run with it. There are so many should be hits on this album, it can only be a matter of time before they gather up a decent following. With so much graceful talent between the trio oozing out the speakers, pick this one up now and play it late at night. You won’t regret it.
Recommended track: All My Mind
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