Tuesday 17 December 2013


Am I being a bit Breton-heavy recently? If you think I am focusing on them too much, then I'm really sorry and I don't know how you'll ever forgive me. If you don't think I'm focusing on them too much, like if you've never read this damn blog before, then don't worry about what I'm saying. I was worried but now I literally don't care. I'm going to write about Breton again and again and again until I'm sick of writing about them and their music loses all meaning to me – now that's dedication, don't you think?

But recently London band Breton have been doing quite a few things so writing about them often is unavoidable, well, it is unavoidable if you happen to like Breton. And you'd be a cynical fool for not allowing yourself to like them. Cause they ARE good. But then again: is everything just an opinion? I'd like to think no – sometimes things just are the way they are, no matter what a certain amount of people think about it. But what am I saying? I'm sorry again. What I mean to say is: prior to the release of their upcoming album War Room Stories, out 3rd February next year, Breton have sneakily dropped an EP titled Force of Habit.

Officially released yesterday, Breton frontman Roman Rappak – who tackled a YES/NO interview the other week – describes the EP as a "16 minute introduction to our love of hiphop, films, guitar music and massive hooks." Including the wildly different but equally brilliant 'Envy' – a tropico-disco indie math medley – and synth-laden 'Got Well Soon', with its nocturnal heft, the EP leads you by the hand through a small but very cool museum of Breton's varied sound.

Minus the strong, hip-hop-inflected beat of 'Sticker Factory', complete with wonderfully industrial sounding cymbal taps, its orchestral arrangements – which come courtesy of a 44-piece orchestra called upon just for this occasion – could work perfectly just by themselves. It's a superbly rich and all-encompassing sound, growing from a street-level tune with a cool bassline and attitudinal vocals into a veritable symphony of drama, the strings soaring into a an emotional and indeed quite filmic climax. This is something that I'd imagine would take over your whole mind if you saw it live; a powerful atmospheric track, this one.

To finish things off, the wholly unorchestral-and-it-knows-it swagger of 'Plot Device' rings with atonal, buzzing synths and dread quakes of bass, all set to no-nonsense hip-hop drums. It is dramatic, not in the same way as 'Sticker Factory' of course, but it plays with the same dynamics that gangster rap employs in its brutal beats that ring with polished sheen. It's an ear-burster and it's glorious.

From indie dance and electropop, to orchestral rock and hip hop, this Force of Habit EP has it all; for a band to be so varied in their sound, and to accomplish these variations with undeniable finesse, is not only rare but wonderfully enjoyable and refreshing. Creativity is often about finding your own "voice" or sticking to a particular style – Breton here, I think, prove that you can "do" any style you want, enter any genre, so long as it is a genuine love of yours (otherwise people would notice that you're trying too hard), and if not add elements of it into your music, then completely embody that genre for the duration of an entire song. You're limited by your tastes and that's all.

I looked around but I don't actually know where you can get this from. Maybe it's just a streaming thing. Yeah it probably is. Unless you illegally obtain music from sites. In which case you're v naughty.

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