Release Date: Apr 28, 2017
Record label: Domino
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Peckham three-piece Little Cub make electronic music with a human heart, Dominic Gore’s observant lyrics adding depth to the analogue synth lines and snapping beats that propel them. A portrait of modern life, debut ‘Still Life’ is a record of peaks and troughs. There are moments doused with cynicism, like on opener ‘Too Much Love’.
"You've been caught out wanting something shameful" deadpans Dominic over synthy bassline on closing track "Television". The line just might summarise Little Cub 's dystopic debut which spans themes of moral degradation and personal as well as ballot box politics, Gore's songwriting sensibilities evidence of a primary passion for literature, having been influenced by greats such as Wilde and Larkin on tracks which initially began as poetry. This record's most contemplative cut comes in the form of "Hypnotise".
A moody, deeply yearning work of unadulterated retro-style synth pop, the debut album from Britain's Little Cub, 2017's Still Life, remains remarkably fresh, even if it mainly sounds like a lost gem from the 1980s. '80s synth pop has been a touchstone throughout much of the indie-electronic movement of the mid-2000s, with artists like M83, Washed Out, and Hot Chip borrowing the cool digital fuzz of bands like Tears for Fears, Erasure, and the Human League. However, few bands have borrowed so thoroughly as Little Cub do on their debut album, 2017's Still Life.
Tracks blessed with titles such as Death Of A Football Manager aren't likely to suggest an encounter with thrash metal, but if a comparison with Pet Shop Boys seems an obvious place to start, it's certainly not the whole story here. Like them, considered lyrical themes frame occasionally euphoric electronica, but this is a more percussive and rather more heavily-layered record than anything that's coming from that more famous duo of late. Across 11 tracks, this south London trio's atmospheric debut clearly draws widely from the dance scene that helped shape them.