Leeds-based newcomers Loux are an outfit firmly committed to remaining forward looking without compromising on the structural integrity of their music. Their melodies and arrangements are tight and to the point, with never a second wasted on self indulgence, and every key element playing just the right role without overpowering any other. Following on nicely from their laidback debut, Meet Me Halfway, they’ve injected a little more pace into their second release, ‘Cool,’ expanding on the potential energy in their signature sound without straying too far from unfamiliar territory.
Blending electronica with blue-eyed soul and disco, ‘Cool’ takes the group in a logical direction, maximally exploiting its members’ talents. Producer/guitar-player Chris Milnes’ Nile Rogers-meets-Ed-O-Brien approach is perfectly suited for music at this tempo – the track boasts a particularly ear catching and expansive blast of ambient guitar at the 2:20 mark that stands in contrast with his usual chopped-funk restraint. Vocalist Jordan Hudson shines on the chorus refrain – “What am I supposed to do?” – a tiny hint of grit entering into her pristine voice at just the right moment – communicating the singer’s frustration at her inability to live up to her partner’s unrealistic fantasy relationship. Ali Wells’ drumming is characteristically sharp, with sample replaced handclaps and ever-so-slightly swung shakers lending the rhythm section a dose of house/disco momentum. Space is used liberally in the arrangement, allowing the track to groove nicely – an often elusive thing to achieve when using ambient and highly reverberated sounds.
Lyrical choices are simple and accessible, fitting nicely with the group’s sonic aesthetic. Sharp and to the point works wonders in these condensed song formats, allowing critical hooks to stick in the listener’s mind. Melodically we don’t stray too far from the ground covered in ‘Meet Me Halfway,’ but that’s no bad thing considering the quality of that song. I’d be interested to hear if Loux have any major-key offerings in the works though – I wonder how their approach would translate in that context.
In conclusion, I’d say ‘Cool’ achieves exactly what’s needed of a sophomore release from a band in its infancy – it cements Loux’s signature sound and sonic identity, whilst nicely showcasing a different application of that approach.
The new single ‘Cool’ is out now – available on iTunes here.
Catch Loux at the following live dates in June:
Sat 2nd June | Long Division Festival, Wakefield
Wed 6th June | Oporto, Leeds (with GRDNS)