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The Ting Tings – Sounds from Nowheresville

The Ting Tings have been off the scene for a while, Manchester duo Katie White and Jules de Martino may seemingly have been suffering with the inevitable ‘second album to match the first’ issue.  Time will tell whether this has had a negative effect on their following however, they’re not a band you quickly forget thanks to their number one hit, the sometimes irritating but stuck in your head as soon as you hear it, That’s Not My Name.

Their rise in the music scene was well founded, their debut 2008 album hit number one with each single released doing very well; a good formula of pop but with the attitude to avoid being ‘just another pop duo.’  After a couple of years touring and appearing at festivals, White and Martino, unsurprisingly, took a deserved few months off.

Back with a new album due for release at the end of February, Sounds from Nowheresville, part written in France and recorded in Berlin, is an excursion into the creative minds of White and Martino.

A 10 track treat crossing through every genre of music.  A must for music fans who want to listen to something completely different from every song on one album.

The opening song Silence sounds like the closing to a gig.  The sound flies across each instrument, White’s voice bringing in a supporting melody; it comes across as a proven sound as if you’ve already had the experience of a full gig. Building slowly to reveal a concluding and established piece of music.

After that nothing is expected, the next few tracks are so far away from the first song, White and Martino are musicians taking different genres of music and injecting their own style into them.  What is distinctive is White’s voice, particularly on Hang it Up.  Harking back to the attitude of Shut Up And Let Me Go, spitting out the words with a hip hop rhythmic undertone; the rawness of the guitars punctuating  the beat and creating that heavy rock sound, which sits comfortably next to White’s rap like delivery.

Guggenheim is contemporary, artistic and fitting for its title.  The emphasis is on the words and White’s voice, Martino creates tension with his production.  Minimal melody but with a recurring guitar hook and choir like backing vocals, the use of the timpani upholds the dramatics whilst remaining simplistic.

Throw in the reggae inspired Soul Killing and a couple of unexpected ballads – In Your Life is full of darkness, contemplative with a rich sound created by the deep beauty of the smooth and commanding strings – and you’ll find a refreshing and skilful album.  White and Martino know how to create a sound that captivates with an album of the unexpected.

Fran Bonner – February 2012

Editor of LLR since 2005

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