Self-proclaimed ‘sleazy duo’ Spang Sisters bring melancholic yet uplifting tones on their eponymous debut. Hailing from Brighton/Bristol, Rachid & Jules infuse acoustic themes reminiscent of the 60’s, whilst not forgetting their contemporaries with chorus-guitars and vocals which remind of Mac Demarco and Mild High Club. Their combination of Motown sensibilities with, as they put it, ‘off-kilter’ structures, brings something original to the UK music scene that satisfies with ease.
Spang Sisters is a short listen: a brief nine tracks, two of which being 40-second interludes. Despite this, their debut brings enough instrumental and lyrical diversity that it leaves you feeling sonically satiated. Employing stereo wide guitars and delicate synths, with a pinch of flute… this album fits no single genre. Cohesion is brought by a bass tone that seems to simultaneously introduce and close each song, whilst the guitars direct you from verse to chorus, and back again, into a seamless middle-eight that’ll come out of nowhere but just seem to make… sense.
‘There ain’t nothing quite like you…’. Spang Sisters are enigmatic, and this shines in their lyrical and vocal delivery. Although substantively hard to grasp at times (I am yet to discover who the Gary in Gary’s rich life is), they evoke an atmosphere of introspection and indulgence that seems to give us insights into the dynamics of the band beyond the exterior. They play like inside jokes that we’re all invited to listen in to, almost like you’re at a Spang Sisters Christmas do (‘can you get me on a guest list?’). Spirits are high.
This is all without compromising the delicate Romanticism that the band brings forth. Their use of instrumentals contributes to subtle and clever structures that are nostalgic to something off the latter half of St. Pepper’s, before channelling their inner Fur through harmonic crescendos that leave you completely smitten. The album closer, ‘Jamborini returns for one final smackdown with Mumu Nashu’, is a woodwind-infused ballad that breathes life into the entire record. Coming up for a final gasp with the zeal of ‘Canned Heat’, it leaves you refreshed and wanting more. Spang Sisters entwine heartfelt, introspective lyricism with structurally unique instrumentalism and funky interludes without breaking a sweat. They make it sound easy.