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Perhaps it was deliberate that this trio chose a name which sounds so simple - Eaux is pronounced "O" like the French word for water - yet a non-French speaker might say it in a few different ways as they struggle to make sense of it. Eaux's music uses the machinery of pop and is, at its heart, a female vocal over a synth backing. There is much more to it though, and the further you dig in, the more puzzling and intriguing it can become. On this debut album Plastics they bend and mould electronic pop into something delightfully strange.

Eaux aren't new to this game as two of them, Sian Ahern and Ben Crook, were in the acclaimed yet often overlooked Sian Alice Group. In order to make it a clean break they decided to use purely electronic instruments with Eaux. Guitar and bass lines are synthetic as is the percussion, and the only common denominator in terms of sound are Sian's striking vocals. Ben has stated that their music is "never finished, just abandoned" and a lot of these pieces are the results of organic jam sessions, a fact which gives them a freshness that their contemporaries with laptops don't have.

Opening track 'Head' is a superb piece of music. It is a slow burner, with several subtle melodies battling for attention before the central riff comes in, then the vocals, sounding beautiful with half-formed words floating through the air. Yet somehow it twists into something epic, anthemic, whilst remaining mysterious. The words are hard to pick out, Sian's voice blending with the electronics to become another instrument.

The sinister analogue synths of 'Movers and Shakers' build up a big wall of noise before changing direction as the riffs evolve. It's like a five minute song with three separate movements. 'Pressure Points' is more of an uptempo pop song but those layers of sound just keep building all the way through, and the abrasive noise undercurrents towards the song's coda give it that extra edge.

'Peace Makes Plenty' mixes straight dancefloor beats with lush extended chords and a sweeping almost symphonic melody. Again Sian's voice soars above it all - a beautiful vocal which can justifiably be described as ethereal. Those beats disappear in favour of more overloaded noises on the closing section.

'Sleeper' is a good indication of their approach. It is written around a bubbling synth loop, but whereas a laptop act may just keep going with that and tweak on the way, Eaux add fresh instruments on top and the song goes off into unexpected tangents. The same goes for 'Evoke' which breaks into an entirely other song halfway through.

'Zero Zero' closes the set and is probably the most impressive thing here, after 'Head'. They work through different melodies and tempos so the track keeps evolving, and that seems to be their motto - keep evolving, don't stand still, and I reckon there is plenty more music to come from this lot. It's a cliché to say that an album needs a few listens, but it's true of Plastics, as each new play reveals more depths.

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