From the moment the drum bus filter opens and the sharp claps and rim shots pan on EP1 opener ‘UDH2’ you feel you’re in for a treat.
It’s a sweet electropop tune in the vein of Hot Chip doing New Order. Sweet tinkling notes furnish its bed of burbling arpeggiated synths. Its simple chorus is a proper earworm which should happily rattle about your brain for days. Ends.
‘Come on over’ starts innocuous enough before opening out into a M83 style chorus – all wide eyes and John Hughes film feels. The sweetly sung echos of Alexis Taylor’s singing style are more pronounced than in ‘UDH2’. It tingles like the first week of a new relationship.
After a strong start the EP sags a little in the middle with ‘Ad Lib’. It’s the least ambitious of the collection with its mid-90s mid-pop feel. Things then pick up again with ‘Hideaway’. After a slightly lukewarm start it gathers momentum and truly comes alive when the funk bass slips in on the minute mark.
‘I Had You Wrong’ is the antithesis of ‘Ad Lib’. It’s the longest track on the EP but never outstays its welcome, from the intro’s Tame Impala homage guitar hook to the lengthy tech-y workout coda. The sweet movement about halfway through where it simply gets its groove on before the previously bouncy bassline turns tough and menacing is a joy. Play on repeat.
EP1 sees Beta Waves picking about trying to find their sound. It’s a collection of tracks that rarely sounds the same minute to minute, never mind track to track, but on repeat listens you’ll find a core that’s clearly ‘them’. It’ll be interesting to see where the Dundee/London duo go from here.
Main image by Ben James Douglas