Ten for 2010: Conquering Animal Sounds

So this was intended as a blog project for the tail end of 2010 and we are now three months into 2011, so I think its time to admit defeat and focus on other things. However, I’ve had one post written (intended to be the tenth post) for ages so I’m sharing this one with you before I put the project entirely to bed.

Sneaking in right at the end of 2010 come Conquering Animal Sounds. This band are my ‘one to watch’ for 2011. I don’t predict towering chart success or sold out stadiums in this band’s near future. Their music is unlikely to have mass appeal or to turn up in the ‘big in 2011’ section in any mainstream newspaper. However, in the strange and beautiful genre they inhabit, they look set to gain a loyal and devoted following, although they’d probably strongly deny that, given their apparent fondness for defying genre altogether.

Conquering Animal Sounds are a duo central-belt based – conflicting reports claim their base as both Glasgow and Edinburgh – composed of Anneke Kampman on vocals, loops and harp and James Scott on guitars, loops and beats. Their debut album was due for release in early February and they are currently on tour around the UK.

I was a bit torn when I was making my list of ten bands to sum up the music of 2010; I wanted to finish with something completely different from what came before. I gave serious consideration to both eagleowl and The French Quarter. eagleowl were just about in the lead, based solely on how often I’ve played them on the radio – though The French Quarter really ought to have notched up more airplay given that they’re from Tillicoultry and therefore pretty much count as ‘local boys’. Progressive, ambient, post-rock, whatever you like to call that genre, they were both bands I enjoyed but not ones that skelped the listener round the lugs and said ‘listen to me I’m something different’. I hadn’t really considered Conquering Animal Sounds at that point, I’d only heard their song Wildthings and while I thought it was an excellent little tune, I a) hadn’t heard anything else by them to tell if it was a one off and b) it seemed a bit too experimental. A bit too ‘out there’. I enjoy a bit of experimental electronica in my life, but I appreciate that not everyone does. Then, however, I heard their single from the tale end of 2010 ‘Bear’.

With Bear, they seem to have created the perfect balance between the rich, intriguing – at times experimental – trip hop of the instrumental elements with the gorgeous vocals. There are loops and twists of sound, seemingly abstract electronic noises and lovely bits of instrumentation coming together to create a stunning sound-scape that is electronica at it’s purest and most stunning. I don’t think they’re going to be big, but I do think they’re going to be brilliant.