Two People
First Body


5.0
classic

Review

by Dewinged CONTRIBUTOR (57 Reviews)
January 21st, 2019 | 286 replies


Release Date: 01/18/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Give in to this eternal night.

The room is bathed in intrusive red light. It's mostly the reflection of some street signs close-by but it's intense enough to keep me awake. I'm dead set on making my way through this sleepless night one way or another. As my weary eyes scan the surroundings for an alternative, I accidentally glance at the cover of First Body. It somehow strikes me. I've heard it before. It played in the background some days ago while doing home chores, but at this time... It might be the missing piece of the puzzle. I tell myself: "If it doesn't help me sleep, at least I hope it helps me dream."

As the record spins, the shadows start to dance on the ceiling. Soon the dread goes away. It's a good feeling, hearing the raindrops splash and race down the window glass as the flickering neon outside seems to be the only thing trying to communicate something tangible tonight, like a visual Morse code informing of what's happening out there. A lonesome sax cries in the distance and slowly makes way for Phoebe Lou's velvet voice, which gently crawls and becomes the epicentre of my thoughts. Her calm and grave tone makes me want to sink in my bed but the pulsating beat of "I'm Tied, to You" keeps me afloat with a whole array of snares and ethereal grooves. Contrary to what I thought, this is going to be a very long night.

Once lovers and now musical partners, Phoebe Lou and Joey Clough have crafted an astonishing album, nine songs of loss and grief that channel the gloom of trip hop while raving with dark deep house, as the defying opening track so firmly declares. The wicked tune drags you to their cinematic world with captivating patience, until you inevitably succumb. As the synthetic beat vanishes and Lou's voice drowns in static, one can only stand ready for the rapturous drive that lies ahead.

The duo from Melbourne are not afraid to start this, their debut as Two People, with a seven minute serenade. The track, recorded by themselves and produced by Rodaidh McDonald (Sampha, The XX) inaugurates First Body with a clean cut, letting the rest of the album bleed through the cracks of its fragile body. This is an album of nocturnal melancholy, and once you step in, the only way out lies at the end of it all. Two People's music could be labelled as IDM, or Trip Hop, or any other superficial tag. But for now, let's just say this is electronic pop created with equal doses of love and pain, where the spellbinding voice of Phoebe Lou acts as a guide through the dazzling streetlights, drenched in reverb, exposing her vulnerable soul as the duo carry you through a noir comic strip.

As we move on, the slow neo-jazz vibes of single "In The Garden" explode with an abrasive chorus while "Look at Each Other" throbs with a dance beat, just like a city pumping its blood under the pouring rain. "Something to Talk About" is the next stop, a track where ghostly voices dwell the memory of a surfing spot called Point Leo, a place where the sun seems to have drowned forever behind a waning moon, like Phoebe dramatically recalls: "Not that I could surf anyway / It was just something to talk about".

As the album unfolds, the dark mood prevails, first with the ballad "Phone Call", where Phoebe's singing carries an aching authenticity in words like "When you're done with her, just come pick me up / And I'll be the same, but I'll be ashamed". Her voice sounds like someone who has been drained out of tears in exchange for some shallow sleep. And then with "Fading", a swaying pop tune driven by an unforgiving bass wave that has rightfully become the opening number for their increasing live schedule.

As the deep cuts kick in, the album has little else to show or prove: "Give Me Order" and "It's Late" share a love for moody textures and mid-tempos, with Lou's vocals being constantly upfront while Clough floods the canvas with pads, synths and guitars. A rework of an old classic called "If We Have Time" sends off First Body with the same somber feel, and as its last notes vanish, I realize I'm still staring at the ceiling, as if I had only blinked twice. The red neon lights have been repealed by overwhelming sunlight, and Monday morning has made its way into my room, uninvited, of course. My promise of sleep has died with the album but for all that's been, I would say it was worth it.



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user ratings (120)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Bazillion thanks to Blush for his infinite patience and for helping me to make this look decent.



The album is beyond beautiful, my favorite thing this year so far.



Watch the video for "Something to Talk About"> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtHj2mT3YHY



Or a live rendition in their studio of "I'm Tied, To You": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjiLLPzuKyQ



Edit: You can also stream the whole album at their bandcamp (Tx Voivod!)

http://twopeoplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/first-body

Digging: Kayo Dot - Blasphemy

Papa Universe
January 21st 2019


22419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'll listen to this if you'll listen to De Staat.

First POS

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Deal!

Scheumke
January 21st 2019


1128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very good review Dewi! GJ, will give it a listen.

Digging: Cult of Luna - A Dawn to Fear

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks man, enjoy the ride!

McTime50
January 21st 2019


893 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was cool enough but it didn’t wow me that hard.

BallsToTheWall
January 21st 2019


49745 Comments


Bookmarked!

Digging: Eremit - Carrier of Weight

Taxt
January 21st 2019


1356 Comments


Sounds cool, will check this one. Nice review!

JesperL
January 21st 2019


447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

amazing review! been enjoying this a lot, year's off to a decent enough start

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2019


16169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just checked Something To Talk About and will absolutely be giving this several full listens soon

Nice review as well, I like the insomniac framing (pos pos pos)

Digging: 3776 - Saijiki

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks everyone, hoping the album gets some love here!

BigTuna
January 22nd 2019


5330 Comments


Just listened through once and it's gorgeous. Thanks!

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Glad you liked it! That live performance of "I'm Tied, To You" is amazing too. I love the red light aesthetic they use.

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2019


8015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, pos

On the opener now and it's mesmerising

Digging: Blood Cultures - Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs

Lord(e)Po)))ts
January 22nd 2019


45017 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Will check

Digging: ((( O ))) - ((( 1 )))

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice Freddie thanks,



You shall dig, Pots (I think).

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
January 22nd 2019


42375 Comments


this sounds incredible, great review

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 22nd 2019


16651 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Would love to read your thoughts on this, Rowbro, you're already wearing the appropriate color for the occasion in your avy ;)

TooManyFriends
January 22nd 2019


3116 Comments


so this doesn't sound like a combo of jane doe and peripheral vision??

i kid i kid this sounds cool and i'll check it

Uzumaki
January 22nd 2019


1584 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

terribly interesting writeup, will def check once I get a chance.

Digging: Bird of Ill Omen - Self, Dare You Still Breathe?



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