Ok, where to start… I don’t profess to be a reviewer in Marks’ league but I wanted to cover this simply because of the following;
Myself and Mark get a lot of e-mails from groups and individuals touting their latest musical offerings, more often than not they are direct and to the point, selling the music and giving a scripted biography of the band, but rarely providing an insight into the people behind the music. So, imagine how refreshing it was to to get an e-mail from a band which talked about how appreciative of our site they were for pushing the boundaries and giving new music and unsigned artists a platform from which to be heard.
Enter Maglia Rosa Group. Fronted by Daisy Lawrence (vocals, flute, organ, guitar) the author of said e-mail and Sam Lawrence (guitar, synth) together with drummer Owen Cox (ex-Elle s’appelle) and Matthew Gadd on bass, I wondered what they would bring with their Nighthawks EP?
I was soon to find out that in these days when being different can often mean being marginalised they have brought a sound that would lend itself to the dark with no problem at all.
The title and lead track of the EP couldn’t be more appropriate, as I alluded to earlier, Nighthawks is night music, it hints at Portishead’s 1994 debut Dummy, with Daisy’s vocals reminiscent of that of Beth Gibbons but with a stronger not so fragile feel. The whole thing is propped up by a low key rhythmic backbone slightly reminiscent of Moloko (and that is not a criticism).
The vocals have an accessibility and draws the listener in over the course of the whole body of work, and thats exactly how this EP needs to be heard, as a complete work.
The individual tracks stand alone well, but listened to in it’s entirety the EP makes sense. That said the standout for me is Fallen Daughter, a sinister low key intro setting the tone for the rest of the track which is drenched in Daisy’s honeyed vocal. It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
With my photographer head on, I love the cover artwork, double exposures are very cool,a great match for the EP.
You can check out the EP and more about the band via the following links