London meets NYC in this heavenly duo. Caroline Gorman and David Breeze make up Madness and the Film and it’s an infectious alternative pop outfit who have just released their first EP Scrapbook. They may seem an unlikely pairing with David being a 31-year-old Londoner and Caroline, a 16-year-old New Yorker but one listen to their unique sound proves that it works and it’s not such a weird match at all.
Although I listen to a lot of unsigned bands, Madness and the Film is really something unlike anything I’ve heard before. It’s pop but done in a melodic, soulful way much like hipster’s indie with a dreamy style laced in. Despite being based in New York, the first track is named London Town. The slow acoustic which becomes commonplace begins and a ghostly chant emanates. Incredibly chilled, it allows you to lie back and enjoy the spaced-out piano and quirky poetic lyrics. Their voices blend well and it’s the first taste of their one-of-a-kind flavour.
Onto the folksy sounding Moonlit Shadows, which has a soothing hippy vibe. The drums arrive and it becomes a little more dramatic and beautiful before a blippy electronic sound enters the backing, bringing it up-to-date but with the retro theme going strong. It feels like a magical clashing of worlds and it sounds like it would be a great live performance, resonating throughout the room.
Persuasion has a definite American country twang. It’s slightly more upbeat than the other tracks on the EP but has a great Mumford And Sons vibe going on. There are some funky piano licks and a slight blues motif too. Once again the harmonies are gorgeous and bring out the pretty melody. It casually drifts into final track The Motions, which is definitely my favourite. The first minute or so is clouded in radio interference fuzzes before it turns into a clear, piano-led pop song. So much emotion is invested in the words as it tells the tragic story of a dying relationship. As a result of the dark subject matter, the blues vibe is back. I think this is possibly their best commercial hit, as it touches the current trends of retro America with folksy acoustic love stories.
Madness and the Film are without a doubt a very exciting prospect. They are very new and fresh out of the studio, so they have a lot more to give. Scrapbook is a really good start and I only hope they release something big within the next year or so.