Second place in the BBC Sound of 2013 poll and shortlisted for the 2013 Brit Award’s Critic Choice, AlunaGeorge have been lauded as the latest artist to make an indelible mark on the ever-changing landscape of contemporary music.
Formed in 2009, the most distinctive aspect of AlunaGeorge is the fact that they are a duo of equal standing. Unlike some musical groups – who are defined by a singular personification (think Florence Welch, Beyoncé, or Chris Martin) – AlunaGeorge shares equal musical input and the subsequent output of success and recognition. Aluna Francis is the captivating vocalist who seduces her audience with a multitude of tones that never waver or fall out of tune (think Jessie Ware, Aaliyah and Sade). She possesses an emotive tonality that compliments her soulful lyrics with organic resonance. George Reid’s production not only serves to elevate the breadth of Aluna’s vocals, but also to contribute bold and offbeat sounds. Producing contagious melodic beats, Reid treads a fine line between simplicity and experimentalism.
The duo is best known for their seamless integration of electronic melodies with distinctively sultry R&B vocals. This parity was first shared with the world on fellow British duo Disclosure’s ‘White Noise,’ on which AlunaGeorge is featured. Using the success of this song as a platform, the duo has since propelled themselves into the spotlight with their debut album Body Music.
Lead single ‘You Know You Like It’ is the strongest track on the album. Understated production is utilised to allow Aluna’s vocals to soar, and yet retain an earthbound quality. Contrasting layers of sound permeate the song, highlighting an amalgamation of unlikely genres – ranging from R&B and synthpop to future garage. These genres are explored further throughout the album.
You can even hear undertones of disco music in ‘Kaleidoscope Love’ which provides the album with an injection of spontaneity. A second track of extemporaneousness can also be found on the duo’s cover of Montell Jordan’s 1995 ‘This Is How We Do It,’ revealing AlunaGeorge’s fondness for old-school R&B.
Left field, unorthodox production consumes tracks like ‘Your Drums, Your Love’ and ‘Attracting Flies,’ turning them into the most memorable and boundary pushing songs on the album.
‘Outlines’ is the other standout track on the album. The melody and the beats yield to the emotive power of Aluna’s deft vocals as she ponders on the concept of lost love – “is this paper all I got to keep you with me, keep you from fading away.”
Tracks ‘Best Be Believing’ and ‘Bad Idea’ help in contributing to a slick veneer of cohesiveness. Though the production provides an unpredictable level of eclecticism, Aluna brings it back to earth with warm and soulful vocals.
Every song on Body Music is written by Aluna and produced by George, and this fact alone deserves to be commended in this day and age. AlunaGeorge’s ability to bend the fabric of genres and infuse a distinctive voice into retro-futuristic production however, ensures that this duo will receive more than its fair share of deserved success. AlunaGeorge have produced an album that is more than worthy of all its preceding hype, and signals a bright future for the ingenious duo.