I don’t think we’ve ever featured the work of any artists from Norfolk here before and, if we have, we likely weren’t aware that they are from this English city. Today we rectify that situation, as we have the pleasure of introducing you to British electronic duo Broads – namely to their new single ‘Climbs’ and respective b-side ‘Late Devonian’, which release tomorrow.
The A-side ‘Climbs’ features mesmerizing vocals from Milly Hirst, who also co-wrote this track with band members James Ferguson and Mark Jennings. In mid-February, these electronic music wonders will unveil their long-awaited 11-track album ‘Field Theory’ via Humm Recordings.
Electronic to the core with the exception of what appear to be handclaps and shakers, ‘Late Devonian’ combined glitch ambience with cinematic pads and organ sweeps and a big clackety-clack effect.
Mainstays of the Norwich music scene, Broads deliver a variety of music – always delicious – ranging from synth-pop bliss to a hybrid fusion of genres straddling the divide between ambient drone, post-rock and shoegaze. Broads takes a fascinating approach with this album, tastefully showcasing completely different sides of their musical spectrum.
‘Climbs’ recalls Melody’s Echo Chamber and Broadcast and, while there is certainly a drone element happening here, it all meshes nicely to produce a trance-inducing rhythm that one could easily get fixated by. I know I have several times in the past few weeks.
It is this kind of brilliance that has gained them attention from Mercury Rev and with Plaid., with whom they have played shows, and the British Film Institute – composing for a sequence of archive film footage of rural/agricultural Norfolk scenes, and performing live in beautiful venues across the region.
“Finding the balance between space and rich texture is something we’re really interested in, and hopefully something we’ve started to achieve on Field Theory,” explains James Ferguson. “The sound of the album is very much influenced by the recording environments and our geographical context as a whole – Norwich is kind of isolated, surrounded by expansive, flat landscapes and big skies.”
“For us, it’s a really big deal – our first record written as a 2-piece, and the first time we’ve had any sort of budget to spend,” says Mark Jennings. “We got support from Arts Council England to make everything happen and that has given us the chance to really take time over our writing, programming, editing and recording, and get some amazing people involved with making the record – especially Owen Turner (Magoo) who recorded quite a lot of it and mixed the whole thing.”
Broads release their ‘Field Theory’ album on February 16 with their album release party scheduled for February 15 at the Norwich Arts Centre. But already on January 19, the new single will be available for download via online stores and Bandcamp, where the whole album can also be pre-ordered.