Clock Opera: Scala, London: 09/05/2011

On the day they release new single ‘Belongings’ on Moshi Moshi Records, Clock Opera support indie-noir outfit Howling Bells at London’s Scala.

Any cross-over between electronica and indie music comes to an apex with Clock Opera. Entrenched in sampling, a vast erray of textures are built from found-sound sources, cut up, edited, manipulated; but these textures are used as blankets, or as bedding, for pop music. The pop structures and falsetto vocals soften the electrofied backing – it’s just too smooth to be glitch, but it *is* glitchy as…

The Kitsuné-featured ‘Once And For All’ is awash with music-box mimicry made from… well, I think it’s a processed guitar – it could be anything… stuck on repeat. It’s like one of those Steve Reich tape experiments, taking something odd and letting it repeat so often that eventually all you can hear is the inherent rhythm in it, the inherent rhythm in everything. But for all the effort gone into making these textures, they’re used in a suitably artful way, building up layers of melody over several minutes while singer Guy Connelly patiently crafts melodies of his own.

New track ‘Belongings’ is cut from similar cloth. An unfiddled-with piano line roots the piece, gradually being added to by messed-up cousins. It’s Sigur Ros-style in its attitude to composition, but it’s Elbow and namesake Guy Garvey in its melodic form (admittedly with a whole lot more falsetto), a performance capable of both fragility and grandeur. ‘A Piece Of String’ is perhaps the best-realised among Clock Opera’s tracks – a Four Tet-esque intro and analogue synths lead an effortlessly danceable piece treading the line between indie-electro-pop. A masterstroke.

Tight, polished and with a great pop ethic, Clock Opera are working on that most elusive of things, the point where songs can be both experimental and beautiful. And they’re not far off.

Clock Opera – Belongings

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.