London quintet invoke demons in an old Italian cinema
A London five-piece who formed from the ashes of fashionista-approved vocalist and guitarist Isabel Muñoz-Newsome’s failed attempts to get a punk band together with drummer friend Nick Owen. After the addition of Tomoya Suzuki (synths/sax), Neville James (guitar) and Henry Brown (bass), they decamped from a stinking hot 10-foot square chipboard rehearsal room in London’s glamorous Manor House to the 40 degree heat of Calabria in Italy. A residency in a ruined cinema owned by a surrealist artist found them sweating out a batch of songs.
You mean apart from the fact that there’s a distinct shortage of bands named after obscure fruit? How about that they seem to operate in the same dreamy shoegazy ephemeral territory as The xx while picking up where SCUM left off in trying to use their music to conjure demons out of thin air. It’s a common complaint when recording in abandoned film houses apparently. Lots of ghosts.
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And talking of spirits, there’s very much something of Siouxsie & The Banshees in the air when their hypnotic debut single ‘Priestess’ is spinning. Described as a mix of the heavier songwriting of PJ Harvey or Patti Smith meets nocturnal electronics of The Knife and Cocteau Twins, Pumarosa themselves have the track down as an “industrial spiritual”, which conjures up a beautiful, but unlikely image of Throbbing Gristle performing at a gospel brunch. With saxophones. Clocking in at a mesmeric seven and half minutes, it’s not entirely clear what exactly is going on – but there’s plenty of time decide, and in any case, there’s much here to like.
‘Priestess’ is out on Chess Club