Browsing through music blog aggregators such as hype machine and elbo, there isn't much about London based trio Semifinalists, so I thought I should step in. Clearly underrated but hard working, Semifinalists started out with two Americans and an Indonesian: Chris Steele-Nicholson, Adriana Alba and Ferry Gouw as three film students working on a project, as well as making soundtrack. They decided to form a band and this is what they got: eclectic lo-fi spacey atmospheric noisepop which remind me a bit like Canadian band, Islands with Ferry's shrilling manic falsetto over recorders and xylophones noted in "Upstream" and "Origin Song" (from last year's debut self titled album), while at times quiet dreamy pop added by Adriana's soft female vocals. The songs, themselves create powerful emotions that build up on the intensity yet remain effortlessly and perfectly posed between the choppy distorted noise and subtle melodies. Influenced by the likes of Grandaddy and The Flaming Lips; Semifinalists' sound is controlled and taut, but with a gleaming, capricious pop edge. If you like intriguing but strange art pop/rock, you'll enjoy this. Ferry Gouw also does cover art for all their releases. The band are at the moment gearing up some new material for a second album sometime.
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