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Album Review: The Hundred In The Hands – Red Night

Being a Brooklyn based musical duo sparks instant hipness, but at the same time questions a lack of weight. The Hundred in the Hands are an experimental pair looking to last and they have the credibility to do so.

Dreamy mystique fills the opening to this record, only to be intruded by bold electronic pulses. Eleanore Everdell’s gentle yet wrathful vocals entice listeners, backed up by the strength of Jason Friedman’s curious instrumentation and programming. After this eruption of noise, the mellow climate resurfaces and again we’re back to immense vocal focus upon the guiding instruments. The production sounds fantastic, with real depth. Recognise, as an individual track emotively impresses.

There’s a fine line between good and bad electronic music – depending usually on the tempo and the tone of the instrumentation. Come With Me emerges as more of an upbeat pop song and it’s safe to say I instantly prefer the more mysterious and complex work that these two are capable of producing.

The duo’s big choruses fuse heavy drums and layered vocals for full effect and this consistently works. The track order appears to weave in and out of full frontal expression to airy mystique. There’s a lot of influence behind this kind of production and it’s the more aged artists such as New Order that The Hundred in the Hands can honour their edgier and more appealing material to. It’s also always pleasing when the track chosen to have the same name as the record is a good one.

Listen to this record in the right environment and every noise can be felt. The introducing bass drum in Keep It Low for example pumps fantastic eerie waves through headphones. As for the lyrics in this track, again they feel free form and Eleanore seemingly losing herself in the music compels you. As the instrumentation develops and grows, her words attain greater power and layered hums of her echoing voice provide a superb layer of sound.

I enjoy listening to this pair. Some tracks are deeper than others in terms of sounding a great deal more than contemporary throwaway electro pop. There’s a sense of exploration in the majority of the album, which is the kind of thing bands like this need if they’re going to find success and longevity. I can’t compliment Eleanore’s voice enough and as long as she’s using it strongly against deep instrument builds and not blips of tacky upbeat noise, she’s a true front-woman in the making. Having already sung for TV on the Radio too, all signs are still looking great.

-James Uden

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