Tuesday 9 September 2014

Review: Scarlet Soho – 'Two Steps From Heartache EP'

'Two Steps From Heartache EP'

Electro-pop duo Scarlet Soho tap into the spirit of early synth-duo pioneers such as The Pet Shop Boys, Yazoo and Erasure. Their straight up, but fairly minimal approach to electro pop makes them a rather honest and refreshing listening experience. They are less complex than most modern purveyors of the genre and opt for a sound that would be easy for them to replicate live.

The duo's newest release, 'Two Steps From Heartache EP', further solidifies their simple but effective sonic formula with some strong and pop-conscious song writing that tips its hat to the classics of the genre.

Kicking off with the title track, 'Two Steps From Heartache' the band display a strong grasp of infectious melodies and instil them with some bouncy, but light, dance beats and great sing-a-long chorus. The second track, 'Professionals' recalls a minimal electro take on The Faint with it's dark atmosphere and approachable grooving bass that shows the duo can appeal to the artier types as well.

The live version of 'Analogue Dialogue' included perfectly illustrates the earlier point regarding the easily performable nature of the songs and it is a very nicely executed recording that captures their liver energy. The remix of 'PTTM' courtesy of Kosheen adds some real club appeal to the EP with the bass and beats dialled up a few notches, giving the song a big dance-friendly face-lift. While the title track gets a suitably arty and left-field remix courtesy of James Yuill to round the EP off.

'Two Steps From Heartache EP' is very well performed and produced. Although there is a very retro leaning to the band's style, the EP sounds fresh and contemporary. The synths have a warmth to them that harks back to Vince Clark's imitable 80s repertoire but there is no escaping the fact that Scarlet Soho are a 21st century band.

This is short, but sweet and with two great lead tracks and two complimentary remixes it is a safe buy for anyone who likes their electro-pop with a nice hint of 80s meldoy and modern know-how.

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