Among the sparkling catalogue of Dirty Hit Records’ artists such as Wolf Alice, The 1975 and Benjamin Francis Leftwich is Superfood, or rather the stage name of Dom Ganderton and Ryan Malcolm, Birmingham’s latest creators of colourful, energetic indie rhythms, set to release upcoming LP Bambino in the coming week.
Recorded over the last few years, the self-produced album was produced with ‘no money and no label’, says frontman Ganderton, yet is clearly the product of a creative passion and one which fizzles with infectious melodies heard straight off from the layered percussions and vocals on album opener ‘Where’s The Bass Amp?’. Not for the first time on the album, subsequent ‘I Can’t See’ isn’t instrumentally far off tracks from Rex Orange County, and its smooth, life-affirming lyrics form a soundtrack perfectly suited for a summer evening under an orange sky, which seems to build a path for the remaining tracks to follow suit along.
arguably one of the most contemporary tracks currently in its genre
‘Unstoppable’, the latest single from the album, with its ska samples of the late Prince Buster, is arguably one of the most contemporary tracks currently in its genre, and one which no doubt stood out as one of the most exciting performed pieces at this year’s BBC Big Weekend in Hull on the BBC Introducing Stage, with its dance-infused brass notes laced throughout. ‘Wibble Mtn’ may be less than ninety seconds in length, but Bambino’s next track is a solely electronic track which creeps in and fades out briefly before ‘Natural Supersoul’ kicks in with its repetition of “you’re a natural supersoul/find yourself and lose control” could be mistaken for an amalgamation of Glass Animals and Metronomy’s signatures. Halfway through the album, ‘Need a Little Spider’ shakes things up slightly with heavier drums and bass notes result in a slickly produced track which mirrors those often used in high-budget car adverts and heads to a rockier finish, proving Superfood are capable of mixing their sound up and succeeding.
‘Raindance’ follows up neatly and returns to the smooth guitar chords and is undoubtedly one of the invigorating numbers on the album with its nods to Jamiroquai in its opening funk notes. ‘C is for Colour’ slows down the pace and tone, as if providing the listener with a break before the last tracks of Bambino take to the stage. ‘Double Dutch’ is as playful as its name, and instrumentals play as much of a role as the recorded vocal backing track of ‘Katherine Wilchuck’, who’s been ‘double-jumping since I was ten years old’, and showcases Superfood’s ability to combine rhythms of urban society with studio-made electro beats.
…showcases Superfood’s ability to combine rhythms of urban society with studio-made electro beats
Touching track ‘Shadow’ is up next, perhaps conveying the emotions of someone who no longer feels connected to someone they love, and comparing them to a shadow; musically it reflects 2000s indie rock ballads of unrequited love sung from the perspective of a young man. Similarly to predecessor ‘C is for Colour’, ‘Lov’ is another short but sweet piece which still carries the summery notes of the earlier songs on the album. A critic from The Guardian has written of how the group ‘veers nearer to Gorillaz than the Gallaghers’, evident on penultimate ‘Witness’ with its Damon Albarn-esque vocals and lyrics full of youthful outlooks and peppered with kitchen-sink drama lyrics.
Closing number ‘Clo Park’ brings together elements of each track before it on the album, and is a sparkling round off to one of the year’s widely anticipated alternative releases, and one which perhaps boasts the most refreshing sounds heard all year.