Other People’s Problems
Released: March 26th
Though south Londoners Breton take a lot of their sonic cues from the late 90s electronica of Mezzanine-era Massive Attack, it’s fans of the Rapture, Foals and The Maccabees that will be the most pleasantly surprised. It’s dark, pulsing electronica for established fans of indie rock, but there’s more to Breton than being the next NME poster boys.
In fact, there’s a lot more. They’ve already built up quite a name for themselves with their talent as filmmakers (based in disused-bank-turned-studio BretonLABS), which now translates itself perfectly to meandering, enigmatic music videos and a reportedly stunning live show. After starting to make and perform music to accompany short films, the band’s reputation grew from their notoriety on the south London squat party scene.
Named after the father of surrealism, Andre Breton, and with frontman Roman Rappak’s compulsive recording and mixing of anything and everything that grabs his attention, the band have set their compositional targets pretty high. That’s not to mention the recording of the album in Sigur Ros’ own studio in Rekyavik, and subsequent full orchestration by German composer Haushka.
So far, it’s all pretty impressive, and gratifyingly, Other People’s Problems pays up. It’s deceptively complex and the ubiquitous thick, cinematic strings add a rare tension and depth to what could all too easily be dismissed as plain old indie electronica. In fact, the album’s weakest points are those in which this influence is over-indulged. There’s always a danger to a band like this taking themselves too seriously but Breton get away with it through sheer talent and artistic sensibility. Overall, it’s expansive and rewarding, and whatever your initial reaction, will be well worth your while.
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