When Silver Columns’ , who release debut album YES, AND DANCE on 31st May, white label singles “Brow Beaten” and “Yes, and Dance” mysteriously emerged, glinting and fully-formed, seemingly from nowhere last year, tongues were set wagging. There hadn’t been anything quite like them before – “Brow Beaten” was a skittering, helter-skelter electro pop jolt to the heart, sounding not unlike the spirit of Erasure trapped in an arcade pinball machine, while “Yes, and Dance” – cheekily, their own remix of a yet to be released track – was lush, slowed down, hallucinatory – the drowsy, lysergic morning after the messy night before. It was a brilliantly askew one-two pop punch unlike any other, and as fitting an introduction as any to Silver Columns.
However, the duo (revealed earlier this year to be Adem and The Pictish Trail) have plenty of other tricks up their sleeve, as abundantly displayed on “YES, AND DANCE”, their endlessly innovative debut long player. Conceived, recorded and produced together (despite the fact they live on opposite ends of the UK) in less than a year, it is quite possibly the most unique, beautiful and offbeat pop album you’ll hear all year, created, as it is, by two excessively talented mavericks who had never even made this kind of music before.
So, as you can tell from the title (the capitals, in case you were wondering, are deliberate), this is without a doubt a dance record. But it is also a dance record quite unlike any other – dance music as approached by a couple of mad scientists who have pulled it apart, genetically spliced it with other, unusual elements and reassembled it to create all manner of strange and wonderful new shapes. So, on the one hand you have vintage Underworld shapes bubbling gently through the propulsive pop structures of “Always On”, and on the other, the slow build tearjerker “Heart Murmurs”, which could almost be Arthur Russell had he stayed a little longer at the disco party; or you can find the riproaring, call and response dynamics of madcap upcoming single “Cavalier” (Out 17th May) nestling side by side with the anthemic, uplifting closer “Way Out”. Through it all, it is Silver Columns’ restless creative drive, their willingness to experiment with form and function, but most importantly, to make dance music imbued with heart, warmth and soul, that forms the connective tissue between these songs, and makes “YES, AND DANCE” stand entirely in a league of its own.
13 – The Great Escape, Brighton
19 – Topman CTRL w/ Yeasayer, London
22 – Stag and Dagger, Glasgow
29 – Green Man Boat Party, London
29 – Dot To Dot Festival, Bristol
30 – Dot To Dot Festival, Nottingham
30 – Neon Noise Project & Lovebox @ KOKO, London
11 – Club NME @ KOKO, London
17 – Madonna Tribute @ ABC, Glasgow
09 – Lounge On The Farm, Canterbury
18 – Lovebox Festival, London