Close your eyes and picture a vivid scene of skinny kids in loose-fitting tees, a whole field of them, swaying with glow sticks, beads and fashionable sunnies alike. All grooving in arms-aloft harmony to the ecstasy of New Order synths, laconic New Wave vocals and illuminated, laser-tested production.
This is precisely the kind of festival-bound imagery that “Dare”, the structurally swept single from City Calm Down engenders. Beginning with a sawing, two-chord synthesiser and a Madchester worthy guitar line it gives way to a swooping euphoria. If the self-described ‘live electronic outfit’ are ever charged with bringing a swelling, sweating crowd of nocturnal youths to climax, they’ve already written the tune do it.
It’s a shame then that its flipside, “Burn Slow”, takes longer to hit its stride, a full two minutes before it finds its true pulse. Still, one near-perfect single, constructed from a combination of the kaleidoscopic keyboards of peak-period Cut Copy with live – not mechanically produced – drums, is enough to warrant a close eye on this fledgling group.
– Al Newstead