Pockets of Light – Spirez and Emily Teague

February 26, 2012 in MusicReviews

Ok Ok Ok - Spirez and Emily Teague

Spirez is a Bristol, England based collective of producers and musicians who aim to provide cool, slow instrumental backdrops for vocalists. They found a worthy collaborator in Emily Teague, a Bristol neighbor, who usually offers soft acoustic folk. The two songs on the CD, “OK OK OK” and “Pockets of Light,” showcase how well Spirez’s ethereal trip-hop structures and Ms. Teague’s strong, breathy vocals go together. “OK OK OK” kicks off with propulsive piano and what sounds like a sample of light, jazzy brushed drums. This is the backdrop for Ms. Teague’s doubled vocals. She sings and whispers, maybe pleading for a companion. The song’s got a nice, unhinged feeling, and the light electric gurgling and delayed effects bring to mind a lost soul ballad that’s been warped and melted by oh, some serious body heat? Some forced inhalations cut the song off.

We’re introduced to “Pockets of Light” by a cold chant and some spare ’80s beats and delayed vocals. Vaguely reminiscent of late period Kate Bush, “Pockets of Light” continues the same emotional path carved by the first song, namely smooth and sexy detachment, with a hint of confusion. It’s certainly got a more experimental, impressionistic bent than “OK OK OK.” Towards the end, when light electric noise creeps in over the glitchy percussion, it feels like “anything goes” for the sake of sound and sensation. Maybe due to the number of producers working on the music, there’s a small sense of too many cooks in the kitchen, but that’s forgiven when the results generally hit the level of cool atmosphere it feels like they’re going for. You can hear an assured group at work here, and that’s something rarely heard in the era of lone bedroom producers. Recommended.

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