Trophy Wife/French Soul Party, sadly missed
It is one of life’s great sources of excitement to find a band from obscurity, having had and interest sparked from the bedroom demos and first singles and EPs all brimming with a talent yearning for more ears to listen to their tracks. It is then a privilege to watch the fire kindle the interest of more and more fans until a break allows them to explode into the hearts of many. It is however crushing to see such bands flicker out of existence as they begin suffocating due to a lack exposure to a wider audience they so richly deserved.
For far too many bands, this is the unfortunate fate they face and it is particularly sad to see two of the bands I had so much expectation for bow out in the same month.
Trophy Wife were first recognised by many back in late 2010 when the release of their first single “Macrolite” revealed subtly technical loops over swelling ambience accompanying morose reflective lyrics. Some fine EPs were released from the Oxford boys, including some produced by Foals’ Yannis, a favour returned when they remixed “My Number” into a scintillating ball of energy full of the characteristic traits of the Oxford collective Blessing Force. Solid tour performances consistently impressed the fans that turned up yet the big break never seemed to come and frustrations grew.
The bittersweet news then arrived on May 20th when they announced the release of their first début album ‘Trophy Wife’, available as a pay-what-you–like on Bandcamp would coincide with the news that they would be following their own creative paths and ‘putting Trophy Wife to rest’. Understatedly elegant yet powerful, the album exudes the delicacies of earlier releases yet also has more assertive moments such as in the potent synth lines of new single “Glue”.
150 miles further north in Yorkshire, the members of French Soul Party were beginning to accept the daunting realisation that their time left together was also limited. Playing their career spanning set, consisting mainly of songs written when they were just over 15, it is a shame to know that many of these songs are now confined to memories, as very few songs were ever recorded. “French Kissing” justified its right to be recorded as it made its way all the Radio 1 playlist and a wider audience was drawn towards the punching synth, interweaving guitars and tight drumming. Having many influences who mixed in the circles of Blessing Force, French Soul Party penned songs which were able to take their sound to increasingly further reaching places whilst they worked on the dreamy dance pop of their last single “Tropical Haze”. As thoughts turned towards the impending futures taking them to opposite ends of the country and beyond, the boys, some yet to turn 18, reluctantly decided to call a day on this adventure.
For these bands, and many others in similar situations, this may seem like the end. But all these young musicians have not given up music, their talents have just been turned to a different avenue, and there will still be plenty of good tracks coming from them all. So whilst the immediate future feels like closure to the end of an era, another age is just waiting to be built and it will be just as exciting as the last, so keep going to gigs, keep buying music and keep your ears out for that next wave of progression, because it’s already happening.
Post by Sam