In the past year or so, Birmingham seems to have had a thing for spawning hipster-boybands: four or five blokes that look like they have tumbled through Beyond Retro’s sale rail and come out the other end singing reverb laden super-pop harmonies. And here’s its latest progeny, Swim Deep’s older brothers, Troumaca.
Their debut album The Grace is an eleven-track synth-fest, ripe with danceable summer songs to sit in the sun and sip beers to. With vibey electronic, tropical beats and stomach-shattering bowel-movement bass, the group has the basis for something pretty awesome. This is perfectly exemplified in ‘Sanctify’, the album’s second track.
Having laid these foundations, the band contrast their tirade of shimmer-synths with vocal parts reminiscent of an early-Noughties boyband, endowing their music with a sound that’s somewhere between Friendly Fires and The Backstreet Boys. You can hear a prime example of this in their track ‘Ivory’, where they’ve incorporated that weird pre-chorus sparkly sound and followed it with a chorus melody that whoever wrote the vocals for Blue could only dream of conceiving.
The first single and highlight track of the record ‘The Sun’ kicks off with oriental, dubstep-y vibes that build up to one of those pauses that you hear in dramatic electronic music, followed with a pretty satisfying jungle rhythmed drop and erratic digital crazyness. With regards to the vocals, Troumaca seem to have dropped the whole boyband thing, for this track anyway, in lieu of darker, more apologetic melodies. All in all, ‘The Sun’ is certainly the stand out track on the record.
So, thank you Birmingham for this next chapter in the book of hipster-boybands. Musically, these dudes have the potential to do something pretty interesting – it’s just a shame about the itchy-teeth vocals. But hey, at least they look cool as hell.
Words: Lewis Parrin
‘The Grace’ is out now on Brownswood Records.