Stubborn Heart - Need Someone [EP]
Coming slightly late to the party, this month Stubborn Heart release their debut EP Need Someone on Kaya Kaya Records following the likes of Mount Kimbie, SBTRKT and Jamie xx with some wobbly soulful tunes with minimal electronic backing. Hailing from London the duos EP is not dissimilar from these artists and some early James Blake EPs.
The band starts the record off with the title track spanning well over five minutes. The delayed xylophone instrumentation at the start is a classic 'post-dubstep' move but the texture of the song soon evolves into a brilliant B-part complete with harmonised vocals and a very low saw synth sound. In all honesty the lyrics could be improved with such gems as, "shall I get off the fence?" littered throughout the song but nonetheless it is a good effort with interesting drum patterns and a good diversity in sounds throughout the song.
'Unearthly Powers' sees Stubborn Heart veer into R'n'B territory currently occupied by artists such as Jamie Woon with soaring vocal lines and some pumping stop-start drum beats. The instrumental break is phenomenal with a real groove underpinning the warm bass coos and African percussion.
The final track, 'Penny Drops', diversifies Need Someone further with a minimal house feel. Though it is a bit safer in terms of songwriting, 'Penny Drops' is easily the biggest floor-filler of the EP with some 'dutty' synth lines, (excuse the term but really no word seems more apt). Though being a masterclass in repetition you can't argue with the infectious melodies Stubborn Heart never seem to fail to pull out the bag.
Much like the band I too can't seem to get off the fence about this record. Maybe if Stubborn Heart had been riding the crest of the 'post-dubstep' wave rather than trying to start up by releasing a brief EP in the wake of 'Blake-mania' I would be crazy about this electronic two-piece. Though all the tracks on Need Someone are solid they pale in significance to some of the tunes this band's London contemporaries have pulled out in the last couple of years. I would be very interested to see what these guys could do with a whole album considering how far they stretch themselves stylistically within a mere three tracks. Not a bad start for Stubborn Heart at all, but they have a long way to come if they want to be up there with the current big-hitters in electronic music.