Manchester’s AFFAIRS are hitting their stride with another slab of electro indie-pop
Almost a year ago a single came out that I quite liked. I played it a lot but, as happens a lot now, a few days later I heard something else and caned that for a week, then moved on to something else, ain’t I fickle? I didn’t really think much about the band, expect a few times I read they were recording and then, as usually happen, I moved on.
That band was Manchester’s AFFAIRS and they have returned with new single Play, produced by none other than Ed Buller. Him out of the Psychedelic Furs and that bloke who has produced Pulp, Suede and White Lies, to name a few. On their previous single Blood Science they breathed some new life into electro indie pop, by making it sound like Alt-J and Wild Beasts covering Madonna’s Express Yourself in an ethereal synth drenched chill-pop style. This time they’re staying with this blueprint, but they’ve added some oomph through letting their drummer Michael Bradnam come up with an infectious pattern that keeps things moving.
Just like last years Blood Science, Play has interesting subject matter. Instead of being about rival brothers, this time they tackle that age old topic. Relationships and how some people play games and put up shields. Ironically like the subject matter, AFFAIRS don’t cut to the chase either, and use subtle imagery to tell their story.
The only disconcerting thing about Play is that the vocals sound either like David Bowie doing his best Ian Curtis impression or Tom Smith from the Editors doing his best Bowie. Given what’s happened recently, and this has nothing to do with AFFAIRS at all, it feels like a step back rather than the slab of forward thinking electro indie pop we were hoping for.