ABBA's seminal pop monster 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)' is a classic example of their musical prowess. It has also spawned a number of cover version of varying quality. This ethereal, bare-bones take is definitely at the higher end of the scale, don't you think?
The duo responsible are Christa Palazzolo and Sarah Brown (no, not this one), aka Boy Friend. Hailing from Austin, Texas, the two have been friends for 15 years. They started performing under this name towards the end of 2010, having previously been part of a trio called Sleep?Over. The good news is that their original material is just as spellbinding as that ABBA cover (and word is that we, the listening public, may get to hear their take on another of pop's guiltiest pleasures - this time from the '80s - very soon).
The title track from their forthcoming debut album Egyptian Wrinkle more than compensates for its less-than-adequate name with a killer combination of hypnotic vocals and ambient synths that bridges the shady gaps between Air, Sigur Rós and Beach House. Those mournful oohs'n'aahs coupled with sinister trebly guitar save it from becoming mere bar background music.
'Lovedropper', released earlier this year, is poppier at first glance, and contains the same post-breakup sadness that you find buried in ABBA's otherwise jolly output (the pleasant, slightly detached coo of "# ooh, you're such a waste of time #", for example). And check out those gut-churning synth pitch shifts... wow. 'Dreaming Over Dinner' (above), from a special tour tape, may only be 90 seconds long, but it meanders along nicely, Palazzolo and Brown's voices blending beautifully to whet your appetites for what's to come. And it can't come soon enough.
words: Kate Goodacre
Boy Friend release their debut album Egyptian Wrinkle on February 6, 2012 through Hell, Yes!