Wyles & Simpson's Debut Is Not Just Good, It's Brilliant
'Wyles & Simpson' is the self-titled debut album from the electronic duo of Abigail Wyles and Holly Simpson released on March 23rd. These two girls have worked with a variety of big names such as Nile Rodgers, Doc Daneeka, Matthew Halsall and Chase and Status with whom they are signed to on their MTA records.
The opening track of the album 'Stormy skies' is punchy, bold and really quite a hopeful song despite it's grim title. The musical structure is stripped down in accompaniment and they leave themselves nowhere to hide vocally. The girls have described it as one of the more 'extrovert songs' in the collection with the addition of strings and a choir give the music just enough build and variety that it needs.
The beats are crisp and clear throughout the album. It is these quirky syncopated rhythms that give the album complexity and suspense carrying the listener through to the end wishing there was more. When listening to the opening to 'Impermanence' Bonobo sprung to mind, which is a huge compliment to the duo. It then falls away from this comparison into it's own path of sound.
If we are looking for a hidden gem in the album then it has to be the spine tingling 'Raging River'. It is heart felt, nostalgic and quite frankly simply stunning. The sincerity within the vocals show that Wyles & Simpson are here to tell a story, send a messages and paint many beautiful pictures. Abigail Wyles's beautiful voice is boldly strong yet angelic and the echoey effects which are added, make the lyrics sound as though they have been dipped into something dreamily delicious.
The well celebrated first single release 'Light & Dark' has landed slap bang in the middle of the album, a familiar sound amongst all these new and exciting tracks. It uses soft layers throughout and is quite a contrast to the opening single 'Stormy Skies'.
The collaboration of electronics with piano, heard in tracks such as 'See I'm calling' give out similarities that are reminiscent of Nils Frahm's latest album 'Spaces' but, obviously with the added vocals, its originality can be heard. Yet vocally, the album evokes similarities to London Grammar. This is where any more comparison should stop as these girls have taken originality into their own. The instrumentation, vocals and beats, are distinctly separate yet are equally layered up perfectly and moulded into a delightful tangle of sound to play very equal parts throughout. The vocals are so clear in the lyrics and tone, but just when you think it's too much, the music carries through.
'Dirty Yam' captures a deeper and darker opening, almost as though has been woven out of concrete, the vocals echoing the raw sounds of a multi story car park. This certainly complements the beats which at some points share a likeness to say Burial. The comparison in the chorus and the verse is significant with a really positive section for the chorus in terms of music but also in the lyrics 'finding the way through, knowing how to play the game'.
This album is not just good; it is very good. Don't get me wrong though, it is a 'grower' and it needs time for it's brilliance to settle in. Perhaps we need to give it as much care and attention as the duo have obviously done in creating it.
To find out more about Wyles & Simpson click here.
To visit the Wyles & Simpson Facebook page click here.
Words by Poppy Jones