There’s an almost Nordic starkness permeating ‘Help Me On My Way’, the second cut from Ardyn’s debut EP, ‘Universe’. “Nothing’s gonna fix my broken heart,” Katy Pearson snaps, with a sweetly vitriolic tongue, which finds its perfect accompaniment in crisp percussive thuds and twin brother Rob’s spidery fretwork.
Originally called Kitten and Bear, the Gloucestershire twins soon appropriated a new name from the Latin word for ‘enthusiastic’ and threw themselves into honing their blend of doomy balladry and perfumed pop with XL’s go-to producer Rodaidh McDonald (whose credits include The XX, King Krule and Sampha) behind the mixing desk. The resulting record will see release on National Anthem, the indie label which launched CHVRCHES and Haim into the stratosphere. Ardyn actually share the Haim sisters’ uncanny knack in finding little jewels of warming melody in simple pop-rock elements, with woozy glockenspiels and lolling laid-back bass grooves shining amongst the more anxious, glassy guitar textures on offer here. ‘Help Me On My Way’ isn’t a million miles off Låpsley’s choppy nighttime downtempo either, but with her slightly more prosaic edges shorn off to reveal a leaner, rockier, though no less seductive framework.
The ‘Universe’ EP is out on limited edition 10” vinyl through National Anthem on November 13. Ardyn will headline Lansdown Hall in Stroud on 20th November.