The thrilling debut album from this intense New York City trio makes their city feel alive once again
Bent: London Talk Of London
The music, by its very nature, is built for relaxation and total immersion rather than visceral experience...
The music is, however, ideal for the setting of somewhere like the Talk Of London. A performance of Cats is taking place downstairs as we settle in snugly for the aural bubblebath that is 'Exercise 1', a somewhat apt juxtaposition, as Bent's music is steeped in the vaudeville tradition. It's something of which the pair seem archly aware, as the dippy giddiness of the exquisitely lovely 'I Love My Man', with it's mournful vocal and sing-song instrumentation, or the cheeky bounce of 'People' as evidence of that. This is downtempo without any of the ever-so-serious, po-faced shortcomings that this kind of music often lets itself down with, and is all the stronger for it.
When singer Zoe takes to the stage for a breezy run-through of next single 'Swollen', she adds a refreshing touch of colour to proceedings, but it's really 'Always', 'Programmed To Love's playfully seductive finale, that provides the real highpoint. Part stoned Fila Brazillia and part cooing St Etienne, the band's ruffled, cheeky charm melds with an almost child-like innocence that is entirely their own.
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