Throws, a new pop duo, has crafted an incredibly catchy, brilliantly varied debut album. Throws is Mike Lindsay and Sam Genders, whose previous band Tunng was beloved in Britain. While Throws hints at the pair’s affection for the British 60s folk and experimental explosion, the playful attitude here is entirely their own. The album’s rendering in Reykjavik, where Lindsay lived for four years, was done with instruments and techniques more commonly associated with contemporary electronic music. Icelandic musicians, including múm’s Sigurlaug Gísladóttir, the country’s beautiful landscape, and perhaps even a few of its folk tales all played a part in the recording. Those influences, combined with the powerful vocal harmonies and melodic sense of Genders and Lindsay, resulted in a debut that is wildly playful and beautifully executed. It is a musical adventure that continues to reveal itself with each listen, and contains more than a few catchy songs you simply can’t get out of your head.
The album was recorded in Reykjavik in Lindsay’s studio, a room full of synths and guitars, with big windows that overlooked the sea. Iceland was an escape for the band, and its influence is everywhere: From the energy of Reykjavik that is found in “Knife” to “The Harbour,” a song inspired by the town’s old industrial fishing area. “Bask” opens with some rumbling bass tones, while Sam and Mike’s voices bob among beats as if tossed by the waves. Then, like the sunlight on the shore, the guitar breaks through and the track is lifted by Gísladóttir to its giddy end.
Genders’ soulful falsetto and Lindsay’s vocals play off one another beautifully amid glitchy electronics, piano and strings provided by Amiina (frequent collaborators with Sigur Rós). Throws is the sound of old friends and collaborators, and there is an undeniable ease that can only come having played together for a substantial amount of time. This renewed partnership has all the energy of friends catching up and all the excitement of getting to know each other again. “The whole month became a cathartic party,” Lindsay says. “We talked about the challenges we were facing in life. We walked by the sea and along the city’s small streets stopping at bars and cafes.” “To make music in a place like Iceland will always leave you feeling refreshed and powerful,” Genders says, “it’s just in the air.”
Lindsay recorded the album himself, allowing for a free flow of ideas and implementation. The freedom to experiment with textures and process expanded the band’s ideas, and that freedom is palpable in the fully-formed tracks. Throws’ debut is a delicious sonic adventure full of unexpected elements, of dirt and noise (with vocals run through a tape echo machine). The duo’s boundless explorative nature results in a lush recording that tickles the intellect and takes you out of your head all as it makes your toes tap
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