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Review: 'Alice Hubble'

-  Label: 'Happy Robots Records'
-  Genre: 'Pop' -  Release Date: '13.9.19'

Our Rating:
I first saw Alice Hubley who is the main musician in Alice Hubble playing at The Luminaire in Kilburn back when she was in Arthur and Martha a few years ago. This solo album is apparently what happens when you leave one woman at home with a large collection of Synthesisers and we should all be glad she had the time to make this very cool retro synth album out on the always interesting and cool Happy Robots Records.

Ruby Falls the opening song sounds like an old Joy Division song being played through Kraftwerks synth's and has a lovely retro 70's synth feel to it. The first single from the album Goddess that has had lots of airplay and is apparently Steve Lamacq's single of the year so far is wonderfully gauzy synthpop about a goddess who's not your girl.

Atlantis Palm starts off with a simple two or is it three note pattern that slowly builds and sounds quite spacey and relaxed as if having found the lost city it turns out to be the most mellow of places to spend time if possible this should be listened too while watching some trippy visuals.

The A-side of the vinyl closes with We Are Still Alone a slow pulsing break up song that has a very early 80's synth pop feel to it but with enough of a good iciness to the despair that she couldn't find a way to save the relationship desperation rarely sounds as cool as this does.

The B-side opens with Kick The Habit a reasonably strident song about giving in to temptation once more and finding a new obsession and love interest or drug to get into, that isn't as toxic as the last one, this has a very Daphne Oram Dr Who feel to the music.

Hunt For The Blood Red Moon sounds a lot like the sort of imaginary and not so imaginary soundtrack albums Bo Hansson put out in the 70's almost like another take on Watership Down but with some sort of mystical undertow to it. The Golden Age keeps that sort of space age desolate synth landscape being built to help transport you into a coming Golden Age of some sort we can only hope it's as beautiful and bucolic as this sounds before the drums come in and make it almost a dance piece that then fades back into itself to some earlier Golden Age.

The B-side closes with the title track Polarlichter (Still) a nice entreaty to forget all your cares and lie down here and be still, which with the state of the world around us seems like a very nice invitation to listen to the chiming keys and swirling strings to make you float off as your troubles dissipate just listening for the choir of angles and the whirling spacey noises as you are now fully relaxed.

Find out more at www.happyrobots.co.uk possibly East Dulwich's finest record label.
  author: simonovitch

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