Villette - Demo 1

Bill Cummings 07/03/2005

Rating: 3/5

Villete are named after a Bronte novel and bill themselves as glamorous, flower-loving dandies. Originally hailing from East Anglia, brothers Paul and Neil have relocated to London and have been joined by lifelong friends James and Monsoon in an attempt to electrify their music and get it out to a wider audience. Their sound is akin to the more acoustic moments of Strangelove, mixed with folksier elements of early REM, they create a glamorous medieval sound.

Opener "Something Real" is sublime, brilliant metallic strumming, pounding drums and an anguished vocal that is complimented by luscious backing vocals. The chorus explodes "Cry for something real/I've tried for so long." It's a brilliant track that deserves to be heard by a wider audience, it touches upon a sensitive folk rock sound (think Idlewild with a more literate set of lyrics), they manage to just about on the right side of pretentious.

"Recurrence" opens with a chiming riff, before moving off into a song about loss and unrequited love, typified by the lyrics of the chorus line: "A fear of falling through recurring in my mind. I can get there but can't return your smile, or feel alright." The chorus is embellished with the call and return folk harmonising of brothers Paul and Neil. It's a successful song that really does portray a sense of delicious melancholia.
Last track "Dehumanised children" is a neat little ditty bringing to my mind moments of the Smiths, its lyrics echoing in some way the theme of Suffer Little Children. The clawing words of warning in the chorus "But there's one thing you've forgotten/These hands control you/You're so easily dehumanised" are complemented by a graceful falsetto. It's a good song but perhaps a little short in length to last in the memory.

In conclusion a good demo that shows a band at ease with their sound wrapping you in the blanket of angsty glamourous folk rock. However a note of caution to Villette as interesting and unique as they are: they must be careful not to cross over the boundary where pretentiousness becomes novelty. For example the use of literary quotes on their site is a little old when you consider the Manics did that over fifteen years ago now. But overall based upon this recording many more of us could be throwing flowers at Villette's feet before long.