NEW ARTIST FINDS: POLO
Polo is an interesting duo from Leeds, consisting of Kat Mchugh and Luke Lount. Everything about them is purposefully sparse and in black and white, adding to the esthetic of the music. From their description, they say they make “Future music” and I can say with certainty that I don’t know what Future music is and I haven’t been able to find anyone else that makes it. No matter, the world of music is divided up into a few large nations, but many territories of one or two. Everyone loves a pioneer.
Overall, Polo has a minimal, dark sound that is not unpleasant; it is not purposefully ominous or obtuse. In fact everything I’ve heard has a high level of production value and manages a sexy, smoky feel throughout. All their music has a slow, dream-like quality while also being aware of its aims.
“Party Talk” would be an empty sounding song without Mchugh’s embarrassingly rich vocals. Polo could skate by on her sensuous, honey dipped voice alone but as a whole the track achieves a gorgeously grim atmosphere. The award winning (Best Cinematography, Leed’s Music Video Awards) video for Party Talk is appropriately dark, shot in black and white (naturally) and explores themes of decadence, excess, sex and gluttony. All good things in Polo’s world. It’s a testament to the restraint and talent of Polo, being able to fill a room with mood using only the bones of music.
POLO - PARTY TALK
I was really hoping I could go for my entire writing career without having to write anything about Arctic Monkeys but here we are. Polo has covered their most popular song, “Do I Wanna Know.” The original is good and catchy and popular for a reason, yes, but there is only so much you can do with it. Here is where I think Polo proves they have the talent to take themselves where they want to go. Nevermind the fact that gender bending the vocals already makes the song ten times more listenable, it’s the quality of those vocals, and how sparse, cold synths somehow bring this boozy tale of longing to life moreso than good ol’ guitars, that really impressed me. Arctic Monkeys can consider themselves blown the fuck out of the water, in my humble opinion.
POLO - DO I WANNA KNOW
All that being said, Polo only has three songs up on their Soundcloud page, one of which is the aforementioned cover. I still don’t know what “Future music” is, and hype never was a good judge of future success. However, with the raging popularity of bands like CHVRCHES and Phantogram, it’s entirely possible that Polo can promote themselves as a similar band and get a lot of deserved attention. They ooze atmosphere and vocal gorgeosity and it would be a failure of both the fans and the industry if they don’t see some airplay in 2015.