Oxford’s most exciting indie export of the moment, Trophy Wife are breaking boundaries while creating tunes get your heart pumping and you circulate in your mind for days. The opener ‘Canopy Shade’ not only is perhaps one of the liveliest and catchy tunes of the year so far is also wonderfully reminiscent of the early Foals era. The music although being thought through, is at its heart fun and danceable too, however it features elements of experimentation that we know and love in Oxford’s music scene. The highlight being the warm syncopated guitar riffs, swelling bass and ambient noises that make up this exquisite soundscape.
Next up ‘Bruxism’ features perhaps more typically delay drenched guitar but with still behind this we have dance inspired bass that combine to create a much more Blessing Force style sound. This is the first release on Blessing Force’s new label, the collective that has pushed into the limelight especially in reference to Chad Valley. We can hear much more of this dance/pop inspired sound in this record that with previous releases on Moshi Moshi such as ‘Microlight.’ As well as this backing the vocal jerks and floats simultaneously above the jumpy and funky backdrop. In terms of lyrical style, and vocal work, it has more connection with the more typically math rock styles of Foals and of course YouthMovies which is expected. But in many ways it is more suited to the dance inspired beats and synths of this EP as are the guitar lines well supported by the ominous bass.
‘Seven Waves’ features a myriad of effects and wonderfully resonant vocal harmonies supported by the typically chillwave Fender Rhodes style keyboard and rhythmically interesting high rising synthesis. But yet still the driving nature of the bass, converts this song into a dancefloor pleaser. ‘Sleepwalks’ also is wonderfully catchy, with its polyphonic xylophone and syncopated guitar. With the jittery beats you just can’t keep your feet still. The cake is iced by the powerful brass and by the lyric ‘Lunar Sleepwalks.’
The EP ends with ‘Wolf’ produced by Oxford’s music legend Yannis, who in the video of the recording said “better to sound like lego than Brideshead Revisited”. Well it certainly does not sound like any of the works of Waugh – the phased out beats and rotating synths lull one into a state on trance. And in many ways vocally and structurally has a lot more of the sound developed by Foals in their last album – especially the howl like synth and falsetto vocals. Overall this record sums up everything that is great about Oxford’s music scene; constantly developing into something creative but at the same time showing some amazing song writing talent.
Released on 17th October 2011 by Blessing Force