Welcome to The Verge: a column dedicated to music on the edge of a breakthrough. After profiling an artist determined to show her ass, TGRI’s Audio Anglophile goes back across the pond for some dance punk.
Santigold’s eponymous debut was the sound of 2008, a way forward for Afro-punk artists and a heavily remixed palette for underground DJs. But nearly halfway through 2010, we’re without even hints at a follow-up. Who will pick up the torch and run with it?
My money is on Ebony Bones, a twentysomething British singer-songwriter who released Bone of My Bones on UK label Sunday Best last year (Ms. Bones has yet to sign with a US distributor).
Ebony Bones takes the pop-focused songcraft of Santigold and mixes in dance punk melodies with rhythms that range from dubstep to tribal. The result is a contagious, energetic sound that is dark and mysterious.
Songs like “W.A.R.R.I.O.R.” and “We Know All About U” clap and stomp along, all the while adding layers of synth stabs and booming percussion. The same can be said of “Don’t Fart on My Heart,” a rumbling song whose tone is juxtaposed against its flippant chorus and title.
Lead single “The Muzik” is a a Rapture-esque romp that finds Ms. Bones belting out “all we have is each other / and the muzik / to keep us warm” over a disco beat. The way she spits out “why don’t you take off your socks when you give it to me?” is a snarling ode to the B-52s, and the video is a very-Millenial collaborative effort with her worldwide fan base.
Her contemporary influences are evident, but the record feels more organic than a straight-pastiche of Santigold, M.I.A., and Karen O. A notable exception is “Guess We’ll Always Have NY,” a mid-tempo ballad that cribs the drums and feel of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Gold Lion.”
While she has yet to breakthrough stateside, her Gaga-friendly, performance art stylings will no doubt set her apart from a slew of peers. Her style is all neon dance party, and she should fit right in when she performs at DC9’s popular Liberation Dance Party on June 4th. That’s right – you’ll be able to catch two Verge artists in just over a week.