We Are The Bosses (ep)
(Independent / Bandcamp)
King Sweeties is a musical duo comprised of Bic Runga (drums, vocals) and Cass Basil (bass, vocals) and this is their debut EP which arrives on the back of three of the tracks first being released as singles.
It’s a fun romp through what I want to call Rhythm Section Pop. That is to highlight the special connection and musical feels that Basil (Tiny Ruins) and Runga have created by allowing these alleged ‘background’ instruments to set not only the feel but the tone for these songs.
Whenever Runga moves to the side – project-wise – and creates a role for herself in a band or finds a way to be in a musical setting without being the frontperson, the “Singer / Songwriter” – it always feels like her goal is to disappear. When I’ve watch Basil play bass as a supporting player it’s always felt so musical, melodic, warm and thoughtful. That, arguably, is the role of good bass playing, or of any good player on stage to assist a song, to help to shape the feel of the songs but Basil is one of the most musical bass players I’ve heard in recent years. So it’s no surprise she had songs of her own and wanted to create something that was more than just being the bass player that can also offer backing vocals.
So, to this EP. It’s just a slight wee record, time-wise. Eleven minutes. A handful of short wee pop blasts. But it’s so fulfilling. And the way the bass bobs around – offering reggae feels one minute (Who Wouldn’t Want To Be In Love) and a machine-like Kraftwerk-ian groove the next (the opening title track) I think of this alongside some of the work of Warpaint and more particularly the solo album by Warpaint’s bassist, Jenny Lee Lindberg.
Lydia and Let’s Stay In Bed are full of sinewy groove and hooky, intentionally naïve melody. If you’re a Tom Tom Club fan these songs are for you.
And the slightly punk-ish blast of Tonight We Could Go Out Dancing (As If It’s The Last) is the catchiest blast of ‘rock’ here. Again the feel is reminiscent of a very stripped back Warpaint, pinwheel swirl of guitars, just the rhythm section – and in that sense more similar to one of Runga’s other side-projects, Opossum. (Kody Neilson, Runga’s partner in life and in that band was on hand here to assist with mixing and mastering).
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