Album Of The Week: Dutch Uncles’ Big Balloon
A great band sounds different from the rest. They don’t abide by any cookie cutter approach, but instead fuse multiple elements to create something original that possesses a particular groove. Manchester, UK, art pop Dutch Uncles hit upon all of those characteristics with their fifth album, Big Balloon, that came out on February 17 via the indie label Memphis Industries. It has charismatic soul and makes you want to dance.
There’s no constant theme or narrative; each track in Big Balloon is unique. The quartet also conveys an orchestral vibe at some points, but at other times they bring an abundance of funk. Frontman Duncan Wallis has an incredible vocal tone and pristine piano skills. Pete Broadhead brings a sonic array of riffs on guitar while bassist Robin Richards and drummer Andy Proudfoot bring rhythmic substance. These combined talents make Dutch Uncles’ latest release an infectious listening experience.
Consistency is key for an album to become a gem, and this band of Brits has mastered that. While most albums only have a handful of songs that strike a nerve, Big Balloon has no lulls and no fillers. From start to finish it grabs the senses. To see what really makes Big Balloon special, here are my top tracks off of the Album Of The Week:
Broadhead kicks off “Baskin’” in shredding fashion while the beats, courtesy of Proudfoot, hold it all down. It’s a fast-paced jam that sneaks that orchestral vibe in near the end. “Combo Box” has Richards bringing the funk on bass and it’s the most danceable track on the album. It’s also a great example of Wallis’ charismatic vocal delivery. “Streetlight” has a groovy aesthetic and the chorus is soothing.
Dutch Uncles are currently doing a tour of the United Kingdom. They’ll perform next at Fleece in Bristol, England on March 9. Hopefully they’ll make their way stateside soon and play a show in the New England area. One can only imagine that seeing them live makes for a killer party atmosphere. Until they come to your friendly neighborhood music venue, grab a copy of Big Balloon. It’s what your feet have been wanting you to listen to so they can bust a move on the dance floor.
Stream “Streetlight” via Dutch Uncles’ Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/memphisindustries/dutch-uncles-streetlight; Dutch Uncles’ Website: dutchuncles.co.uk