A Musical Workout With The Umlauts
Italian-English hybrid singing? Highkey dance bass? Satisfying synth lines? The Umlauts have it all covered with their latest track, “Sweat”. Having met whilst studying at Wimbledon College of Arts, they’re a tight-knit four piece who regularly present their audience with totally nuts synth soundscapes, ethereal drums and seemingly nonsensical lyrical arrangements.
On “Sweat”, the Umlauts have upped their production entirely, filling my ears with satisfying sounds - it’s consistent with their other work, sure, but I’m really enjoying their ability to turn the space in-between the notes into a pull factor. It sounds like Eiffel 65 got fucked up on DMT and started making art punk, I like it a lot.
Much like Four Tet’s work, the instrumental layers on this song contain more than what they provide on the surface - if you listen in with decent headphones you can hear nice electronic soundscapes, droplets of white noise and clicking sub-beats. I’m a huge fan of this sort of thing, as with bands like Hiatus Kaiyote, you can listen to their songs twice on different speakers and hear two completely different songs.
The structure for this song is long and looming, I feel like some parts could’ve done with shortening and I would’ve liked to see some variation within the bass lines - maybe something we’ll see in a remix at some point (like they did with some of their earlier songs). It’s not the sort of song I’d have on repeat, unlike the tracks from their debut EP, but it’s perfect for the occasional listen.
Whilst it may not be the direction they want to take, and though I haven’t had the opportunity to catch them live just yet, I’d love to hear the Umlaut’s utilising more acoustic instruments in studio. I feel like the band have so much capability and the dance/art-punk feel of the music is restricting them a little.
Nonetheless, it’s still a great track - the multilingual aspect on “Sweat” is very fun and I’m a fan of how vocalist Maria Vittoria Faldini is delivering that “sono cosi sudata a-a-a-a”. I’m excited to see where these guys go and I’m looking forward to catching them live at some point.
Listen to the track here.
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