I enjoyed listening to this six track EP, released on Three Sixty Records this April by Hackney based, ‘British Electronic Indie’ Artist, Old Tramp.
Who is Old Tramp, an individual or mystery fusion group? We never do find out. But, here are infectious melodies and grimy, hooky riffs, with some great marketing. Typified by a simple but bold banner style website with a featured new video, and a healthy Facebook and SoundCloud presence.
Here you’ll find memorable, witty, and easy to listen to lyrics, with some waspish song titles. (Kiss my Arse’, ‘I Don’t Like You’.) Eccentric Smith’s like life observations, grungy but strong beats, ambient, moody synths and samples and a fusion of 80‘s electronica and 90’s trip hop. It’s saleable, easy listening and fun. (A must listen on good headphones, as the production is rich and nuanced.)
The stand out track is current video release ‘Koksure’. It begins with a funky feel, then in comes a loping ‘Stone Roses’ type of beat and a few ‘Ozric Tentacles’ psychedelic sparkles and effects. A soundscape of processed voices (children’s? Or the elusive Old Tramp himself?) create an urban playground of voices with ‘Oliver Twist’ giggling street smarts. A flagship track for the Old Tramp philosophy. Cheeky, yet humble. D.I.Y and survivalist, but friendly.
Also enjoyable was ‘Pain Threshold’. Do I notice an accidental or conscious quotation of elements of both Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean,’ and the Human League’s catalogue? Seems like a cheeky nod to audiences aware of musical references. With deft modulation and bridge, the overall effect is hypnotic and evocative. Pitched somewhere between raving and chilling out. A driving home song that suggests a sad but not irretrievable domestic situation. Mood music at it’s best.
Verdict: Old Tramp looks to be creating a pleasant little indie/dance niche and fresh presence on the scene. Plus just a slight air of mystery…