Depeche Mode, New Order, NZCA Lines
Sad music that makes you want to dance
" Gleaming, pristine electronic pop with a melancholic heart. "
Affairs of the heart and the myriad ways human relationships fall apart have long been a fertile topic for artists and musicians, but the trick is to marry sombre, meaningful words with just the right tone of music. London trio Little Cub have thus far proved particularly adept at marrying their gleaming, electronic pop and shimmering anthems to stories about love, loss, and the vicissitudes of modern life; no surprise they were snapped up last year by indie powerhouse Domino Records before dropping the highly acclaimed Loveless EP.
“Did we really lose our hearts?” singer Dominic Gore asked on the EP’s title track, poking around in the flaws of his bandmate’s relationship with a healthy dose of cynicism. His deadpan delivery accentuates the diary-style lyrics, but while melancholy looms large, the band’s sleek style and warm grooves are moody yet danceable, edging close to synth-heavy banger territory. Their debut proper, ‘Still Life’, is ambitious and accomplished; songs are taut and muscular, imbued with a euphoric sadness that’s sustained over all eleven tracks.
Turning to music for understanding, or salvation, can be a cathartic experience, and Little Cub seem to understand that power. The stark nature of the whole range of human emotions are raked over by the band, but not to belittle or to criticise; this is simply the way things are. Little Cub give voice to those frustrations while letting them be exercised on the dancefloor, with friends, or simply through the relief that comes from knowing that others go through exactly the same.