Artificial Pleasure’s new funky artpop EP might be the most thrilling thing you hear this week

Impossibly funky, ’80s-tinged pop music

If ‘Let’s Dance’-era David Bowie fronted Talking Heads, they’d probably sound just as thrilling as London band Artificial Pleasure. Their new EP ‘Wound Up Tight’, out today, is a vibrant and damn funky voyage through disco, house and ’80s pop, and their live shows are a biblical experience. Here, Phil McDonnell (vocals/guitar) and Lee Jordan (drums) give us the lowdown on what to expect from the new release.

What’s the vibe of your new EP, then?

Lee: “There’s ‘Wound Up Tight’, which is one of our real hard-hitting dancey tracks. It’s really what we’re about in terms of being quite tough in our sound. Then we’ve got ‘Better Than Nothing’, a six-minute monster track that’s really so much more expansive than anything we’ve done before. Pretty hard to play live though, mind.”


Phil: “As you can tell, it’s all quite dramatic music and bombastic. It’s not supposed to be subtle.”

You recorded and mixed everything yourselves for this one – is that DIY ethos important for you at this point?

Phil: “It gives us freedom, which I think is the main thing. We don’t have to wait for other things to fall into place so we can record the music we want. And we can record it the way we want, at a timescale that we want, and be as experimental and expansive as we want.”

Your live shows are unbelievably good – is that part of your appeal, do you think?

Lee: “To me it’s the most important selling point. That’s the total thrill of being a band – we take it really seriously.”


Phil: “In the industry at the moment, that’s what a band needs to do – it’s the one experience that at the moment can’t be replaced by technology. There will be movements to change that, but the feeling of being in the room and being invited to dance – it’s the one thing you can’t replace.”

Best track: ‘Make It Worth Your While’. Their breakout song combines a whopping chorus, squelchy basslines and buzzing keys.
From: London
Social: @ArtPleasure
Buy: ‘Wound Up Tight’ EP is out now
Live: The Lexington, London (Dec 12)