The first “formal” release from the secretive Glaswegian quartet, the EP Place Is provides a beautiful introduction to soaring tones of Le Thug. The mesmerising tones of vocalist Clio Alexandra Maclellan transcend the instrumental output lovingly crafted by the other three members.
Opener ‘Outer Hebridean’ starts proceedings off with a yearning wall of noise which spans the track’s duration, this overarching drone is undercut with subtle guitar touches and a phased and understated vocal performance from Maclellan. Second track ‘Pals’ presents itself more amicably, and a description along the lines of “shoegaze CHVRCHES” would not be wildly off the mark, as the gentle synths provide an atmospheric basis for the track.
‘Basketball Land’, which comes with an accompanying video, cranks the background noise back up along with the percussion presence. The five and a half minute number encapsulates the ethos and style of the EP as a whole: this music boasts no frills or pretension, it conveys just simple beauty. Featuring further dealings in minimalism, the throbbing synth and spacious vocal combination on ‘Paints’ would likely be at home on the soundtrack of some stylised crime thriller or overtly violent video game.
‘Losing Song’ and ‘FC’ further showcase the band’s musical prowess and diversity, as the former returns to that synth-pop feel, whilst the EP closer jolts your heart into an indescribable sense of longing. Perhaps a statement of intent, or simply an experimental teaser, Place Is EP does nothing is signal Le Thug as a formidable talent and prospect in an already thriving music scene. If that praise lacks sufficiency, we’ll leave you with a comparison to 2014’s most loved band The War On Drugs, such is the calibre of the enthralling ambience.
Place Is is available from iTunes.