Nap shows the softer side of a band that despite combining incredible musicality and groove with wonderfully agile vocals, could very well disappear into obscurity.
With such an abundance of great new music appearing every day across steaming platforms, on freshly pressed vinyl, even on newly wound cassette tapes, it’s a tiring thought to trawl back through those not-so-recent releases in the hope of discovering the odd gem. I’m not talking about dusting off the greatest hits or giving any number of the multi-platinums yet another radio spin – I’m talking about prospecting amongst obscurity and indifference to celebrate those that really do deserve another listen. Signals. are one of those bands.
Their video for Self Medicate appeared on YouTube this January – two and a half years after it was first recorded and filmed – and having clicked on it, the next few minutes were filled with perfectly poised math pop. A quick dig through their handful of music videos and EPs uncovered a diverse library of beautifully crafted lyrical hooks, mesmerising groves and dizzying musical technicality. The combination of caramel sweet indie and gritty math rock arrangements are balanced wonderfully to form a sound that is refreshingly original.
One track in particular had me reaching for the replay button. Nap shows the band’s softer side as they slow things down into something of a ballad, although not in the sleepy or sentimental kind of way. Signals. maintain their edge in a track that brims with attitude; the chorus alone bounces it’s way through clever chord progressions set against a half time that for the first time seems to omit quarter notes completely resulting in a disarmingly simple groove.
Ellie’s voice is outstanding; delicate without being fragile and charged full of her characteristic energy. She’s able to attenuate her vocals between raw power and soft agility, and all whilst adding melodious flourished of electric piano. Every element of Signals.’ sound has clear been deliberated over, with breathtaking tones from each instrument: from dynamic percussion to the striking guitar bends and driven bass.
Following a 2018 alpine tour of the French après-ski bars, Signals. have been a little on the quiet side. Any creative process involves a huge amount of effort and inspiration, and sometimes this doesn’t come easily. We all need a break occasionally, and Signals. have decided to take a step away for a while. With the release of the Self Medicate video, perhaps they hint at there being more to come?