Vid O The Week – Sounds of Sputnik – New Born Feat. Ummagma

Whenever I see the word ‘feat.’ on a track, my mind pops straight to the distasteful thought of R&B with extra cheese and the drunk Darlinghurst Darlings dancing their nights away. What I don’t think of is post-rocky piano noise rock, firstly because I didn’t know that piano noise rock existed, secondly because I hadn’t heard Sounds of Sputnik‘s latest single New Born.

sounds like sputnik

This week’s Vid O’ The Week comes from Sounds of Sputnik + UMMAGMA – recommended if you like sleepmakeswaves, God is an Astronaut and shopping at Aldi.

Blip. Blip. Blip. We pick up the signal of a bright, pulsating piano line – the transmission fading in and out of focus, distorted by the noise of a fuzzed out bass and a guitar that has been squarewaved to the point that its notation is near indistinguishable. The instrumentals of this song sounds like they should be graphed, each beat notating a line on squared paper, each instrument pushing the pulse of a sine wave.

A startlingly uneffected voice sings out to us in lyrics and a vocal range that are undescribably European. Whether it’s the matter of fact lyricism that seems to make too much sense for such a woozy track or their prominence in the mix, there’s something a little strange about the vocals in the song’s gazy context. Once they get going though, they find their footing along with the rest of the track around the 1:30 mark – don’t be tempted to switch channels before you give this song a proper go!

The recently released video for the track similarly evokes an undescribable European-ness, something that, as an Australian, I can only vaguely be familiar with. Call it Aldification or Ikeatrition, the aesthetic reflects a duality of foreign modernity that we only experience via English simulcasts of DW TV, in ‘exotic’ retail form or from a Contiki bus window. Cobbled streets, unironic Che Guevara imagery, big (and wholly necessary) winter coats and the odd human relic of ancient cultures, a reminder that there was a world before globalism. Oh, and those weird cow statues that litter the streets from Anatolia to Andalusia. This might sound rich coming from a person who believes that this is a normal tourist attraction, but what’s with all the cows?

Sounds of Sputnik and UMMAGMA’s New Born makes this week’s Vid O’ The Week because of this weird Euroness, and because the song is awesome. Simply put, the video so eloquently and succinctly puts into perspective all that subtle stuff that is so distinctly European. It’s cool. I enjoyed it, and the song isn’t half bad either!



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