Wednesday 7 November 2012


You probably, or might not, know by now that Tropics EP Popup Cinema has been released and is currently gaining popularity with pretty much everyone who hears it, casting a spell over them. Tropics, which is just Chris Ward, will be playing at The Nest along with Micachu this Friday 9th November. But when it comes to live stuff, Chris Ward doesn't stand alone onstage - he has a band with him.

One part of this band is Keith Vaz. Whilst he'll be playing in the band with Chris Ward this Friday, this isn't his full-time project. Not at all. Little did you know that he also makes music under the name With Joyful Lips. He released his EP Oneironautics late this summer. Unfortunately we were unable to cover that, but here is the video for one of the lead songs on the EP, 'Suspension Of Disbelief'.

The song makes genius use of touching sample (here are some transcripts) from the 1945 film Brief Encounter directed by David Lean. The tender yet melancholy emotions expressed in the lines from this film, used in the song, act as a kind of springboard for the feeling and vibe of the song itself. It's filled with this bittersweet string melody on a loop, with sparse bass and kick driving the song forward almost like footsteps or a heartbeat. There's a sense of vague frustration about the song, illustrated perhaps by the looping vocal sample of 'Don't'.

The last third of the song are occupied by vocals perhaps from Keith Vaz himself, and gives the song an extra layer of sound and feeling. There's this great slowdown bit in the song where everything gets quiet and muddled up, like some musical version of a blip in lovelife, before the cyclical, nearly Eastern-influenced rhythms of the song comes back. It's gentle enough for a chill, but rhythmic enough for a dance, yet still taut enough with emotion that its worth not only a second listen, but a third, a fourth - to be honest with you, I've lost count.

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