Mano's Daughter - Shiver
This EP from the promising Mano's Daughter may have passed you by upon release; in that case, let this review be a step in the right direction. Sure, at this moment in time we're not exactly short on ethereal-edged, female-fronted electronic pop - but there's always room for good songs, right? Shiver belies the band's DIY approach, sounding fully accomplished for a second EP and hinting at an exciting career ahead.
The five tracks here are fully fleshed songs built from Matthias Garrick and Dan See's synth-driven soundscapes, which are simultaneously crisply cool and imbued with warmth, and guided by Sarah Carter's lush voice. She's the hook, her versatile delivery not without a touch of Feist about it, but the songs themselves are winners. 'What's a Girl Supposed to Do' and 'Wheels' both entice with moody, concise verses before shuddering into powerful and slightly offbeat choruses that warrant repeat plays. 'This House' is slinky trip-hop for 2014, and 'You' changes its skin at least three times, switching tack from its original xx-style minimalist R'n'B to eventually become a neon-night electro slow-build. Best of all, though, is 'Little Heart': the band's ace card, this stripped and atmospheric ballad features an especially enchanting vocal ("Lightning that strikes you once won't strike you twice / Not while I'm here") and could very well be London Grammar fans' new favourite song.