New Build is a British electronic band composed of Hot Chip’s Al Doyle and Felix Martin. Live, the synth and guitarist/keyboard players are accompanied by Lean Joseph on drums, steel pan percussion, and vocals while behind the scenes, electronic composer Tom Hopkins acts as a pseudo third member and contributes to their poppy, eclectic sound. The band played Rough Trade, the largest record store in New York City, in their event space this past Thursday night. The venue wasn’t packed, but appropriately filled for comfortable dancing space. The show was relaxed and entrancing with dancey riffs and intense, often questioning lyrics. Al and Felix have been consistently making releasing music together and with numerous other musicians (Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem, etc…) for the past fifteen years. New Build’s music uses the same combination of analogue and tech instruments that Hot Chip’s does. Although similar in formula, there is a difference in sound. New Build provides gloomy yet cheerful and rhythmic woe.
I’m not going to lie, electronic music is not usually my favorite. I find it to be repetitive and redundant sounding. However, when I can’t put my finger on what a band sounds like, it’s always a good feeling. It allows us to feel like we’re discovering something completely new and unique, not recycled or regurgitated. Joy Leah Joseph’s drumming on New Build’s songs is an interesting contribution with the inclusion of steel drums. When I first listened to Pour It On, the band’s new album that was released this past October, I was convinced the steel drum was an electronic loop. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong, and that the drumming added an unexpected element to the performance.
Article by: Jenna Pinch