The Big Pink - Velvet

Simon Jay Catling 10/04/2009

Rating: 4/5

Proof that the Cocteau Twins influence still survives today surely lies in efforts like this from The Big Pink, who release single Velvet rather aptly on 4AD, the same label who gave us some of the Scottish dream pop act's finest moments.

Velvet is a gem. Haunting falsetto backing vocals drift in and out of focus and distortion shifts and jostles for position in a wall of sound that's often pulled down as quickly as it's constructed; Robbie Furze's lead vocals meanwhile bleed achingly into the fabric of the music. It's a mesmerizing throwback to Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie's own tapestries of sound, and yet underneath it all lies an almost stoical digital percussion loop which drags the song more into line with Swedish Electropop duo The Knife.

B-side Introduction To Awareness switches influence again; it's bass heavy and sludgier, the whirlwind cacophony of noise sucks the vocals in towards it rather than allowing them breathing space. Reminiscent of Deerhunter's second album Cryptograms or even The Stooges We Will Fall it's a less immediate beast and suffers slightly from a plodding tempo; nevertheless its four and a half minutes supply a deliciously received compliment to the a-side. The Big Pink are one of those bands who follow the successful yet surprisingly tricky to master blueprint of recognising their influences and putting their own take on them, with wonderful results; ones to watch.