sex as a foreign language

awkward aural adventures

Iglu & Hartly

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This article originally appeared on Gigwise.

“The energy was a little down on that show actually. We’re used to having it a little more rowdy but we love playing every show and by the end they were getting it a lot further back than just the kids up the front.”  It’s a few days after Iglu & Hartly played London’s Koko venue in support of Hercules & Love Affair and Sam Martin is looking back on a show that saw the band go from maybe 2 rows of enthused support to getting uproarious applause when they left the stage a few short songs later. Iglu & Hartly’s rise has been just as frantic going from one independently released single, some radio airplay and a host of SXSW blog bothering performances to a UK top 20 hit, a major label album, ’& Then Boom’, and followed by a relentless touring schedule, in the space of one year.

“We moved from Boulder Colorado to LA and just started trying to make music but it’s a really funny scene in LA, you have to pay to play so it really makes you have to work even harder at getting people to your shows and making sure they go off,” states Martin when considering the band rites of passage on the LA club circuit. Having met at the University of Colorado in Boulder city the nucleus of the band, Jarvis Anderson, Simon Katz and Martin, made the decision to pack up their lives and make the jump to LA in order to take the next step to world domination. Once there they were joined by drummer Luis Rosiles who flew in from co-front man Anderson’s home tow of Chicago. The band adopted that old standard of band elopement…moving into a band house. Rounding out the quintet is bassist Michael Bucher, “Yea, Michael is awesome. He was actually playing for another band when we first saw him and as soon as we did we just knew that this was a guy we wanted to play with,” states Martin. It was a wise decision as throughout the Koko set Michael power walks, stomps and gurns like the bastard son of a Jagger, Angus Young and Justin Mendal Johnson tryst, all the while knocking out bassline after bassline that locks in with Rosiles to provide the pumping foundation that really carries the whirlwind pandemonium ignited out front by the twin rap attack. It’s a part of the show that’s an invigorating surprise. On record Iglu & Hartly trade in saccharine electro pop with a candy apple rap attack that steals into your cortex and finds you humming the morishthancrack hooks to “In This City” or “Jump Out Of Your Car” in your sleep for weeks to come, but they employ a definite scoop eq mix, there seems to be a hole between the drums and the key/vox/guitar shenanigans. On stage that gap is crammed like Chris Moyles in drainpipe jeans, it’s a whole new level to a band who quite clearly have the songs on record. Combined with the multi harmony vocals and pure kinetic energy generated they manage to do something a lot of bands are currently failing to do, deliver live on the promise of their record.

This live prowess is the result of more than 200 shows clocked up around the LA area that the band used to hone their chops before taking their raison d’etre to the masses, which given the aspiration and stadium nods of their debut album ‘& Then Boom’ is exactly where they need to be to thrive. “We like to get everyone involved”, says Martin of their live shows, “we’ve played warehouses, house parties, clubs. It’s all about working as hard as you can to make sure everyone has a great time y’know.” They certainly achieve that with the relentless positivity and energy that pervades the record. Current single “In This City”, a love note to the bands adopted home in the tradition of the Chili Peppers ‘Under The Bridge’, details the bands determination to stick around and see this through with the infectious mantra, “And I found that round here, that I won’t disappear and I’ve got nothing to fear , in this city”. It’s a universal anthem for those who across the globe who have moved to the big city in search of whatever their personal dream maybe. It’s this kind of universal experience that is resonating with fans so quickly and sending the band into the stratosphere. One thing that Iglu & Hartly manage to avoid is the LA albatross of style over substance, a quick glance behind the electro pulses and slick production you get to a band who are not only charting their progress with seducing the girls of the city of angels and latterly the world, but who are clearly absorbing the world around them and want to get to the heart of the matter.  “I wanna turn us all around now, take a step down, how can we all get along, when we’re so violent and young?” They ask on their independently released debut single ‘Violent and Young’. “We just write from personal experience and we’ll put something together based on something we can all relate to”, notes Martin. It’s just another shade to a band who look set to set the entire world alight over the next year.

Since creating initial waves across LA and latterly SXSW the band have signed to Mercury Records and are currently straddling the world, or “Zipcording” the skies as they allude to on ‘Violent & Young’. They will be back in the UK this winter and they promise to deliver an experience that brings enough California sunshine to keep this city warm through to January. “We want to take it to another level energy wise. I can’t wait. Everything right now is an adventure.”


Written by Jonathan

October 2, 2008 at 2:38 pm

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