Having released their debut EP ‘Young Ones’ earlier this year, London based five-piece, Formation, formed by twin brothers Will and Matt Ritson, have been causing a stir in the music world of late; with their delicious disco funk groove, and the fact that they have recently gone on a European Tour with British indie rock giants Foals. Amongst all their touring they have also been hard at work producing their second EP, ‘Under The Tracks’. This sumptuous second outing offers yet more exquisite electronic disco pop in what is probably their finest work to date.
The producer of the EP is well-known Brighton house musician, Leon Vynehall, and it is clear that he has had a strong influence on this record. In his youth he used to be a piano-playing funk fan and lead single, ’All The Rest Is Noise’ is a wonderful funk piece, with a simple, yet utterly addictive keyboard hook that kicks off the song and runs throughout, certain similarities can be drawn between this and Oli Bayston’s brilliant early 2015 solo project ‘Boxed In’. Gorgeous synths complete the bouncy melody with singer Will Ritson’s compelling, aching vocals and occasional delightful falsetto towering above the refrain. Without doubt, one of the best songs of the year.
The title track, ‘Under The Tracks’, is equally as intriguing, with a pulsating synth in the background that really wouldn’t sound out of place on a nightclub dance floor, again pointing to the influence that Leon Vynehall has had on these songs. It has a delightfully catchy chorus too and Formation fans won’t be disappointed as the ever present cowbell lines the chorus. Second single ‘Control’ is different again, with trumpets soaring in the background of the track, and throbbing electronic house style sounds, drawing similarities to LCD Soundsystem and even at times, Moby, with its strong dance element.
‘Love’ is a slightly slower, more sombre piece. The vocals dulled down to more of an anguished, heart-aching groan. Will Ritson’s lyrics match the deliberately solemn musical outlook of this piece, they are melancholic and mournful and talk of the pain of love; “took a payphone off the hook, to wrap it round your neck, too tired and alone to ring someone instead”.
This group are undoubtedly unique and the record itself is extremely varied. Each song having it’s own exclusive twist from the other. Under The Tracks is a triumph. Formation are one of the most exciting prospects to come out of 2015; it’s a Christmas treat come early. These boys are certainly on the right tracks, and I, for one, eagerly await more.