Saving electropop one single at a time
Let’s face it, when you see brothers Pierre and Marc O’Reilly with bandmate Konstantine Pope, your first thought is not “electropop band”. Having wowed the music press with their ‘Change’ single back in 2013, R are returning triumphant with their brilliantly vibrant new release, ‘Bubble Gum Geisha’.
Anyone who can get Martyn Ware to say they’ve “restored [my] faith in the future of songwriting in Britain” is worthy of our attention. R are really something – and it’s not just us that think it. Steve Lamacq is a big fan, as are most of BBC 6 Music it seems.
Separately, this Irish-French-Greek trio are pretty successful too: Marc has toured festivals and worked with award-winning jazz act Kairos 4tet, Pierre writes music for animated films, and Konstantine composes for television. Unsurprisingly, then, they’ve got a surreal video for ‘Bubble Gum Geisha’, capturing the song through exaggerated geisha-style make-up and flickering city lights.
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‘Change’ is what The Human League would sound like if Phil Oakey got sick and the new frontman was Bon Iver. An unlikely combo, yes, but not one you’d want to miss out on. ‘Bubble Gum Geisha’ likewise has an 80s tinge to its glittering synths and drum pads, but this is contrasted with floaty, mumbling male vocals that hold R very much in the here and now.
While we’ve only got these two singles to go on at the moment, there is the promise of a long-player on the horizon. We can’t wait. After all, if R can get this much buzz out of just two singles, think what a whole album would be like…
‘Bubble Gum Geisha’ is out on Salt & Shake