Stubborn Heart at Rough Trade East
Electronic soul arrives at Rough Trade East this week. The musical act known as Stubborn Heart have released their long awaited debut album, and the final result is a polished piece of melancholic darkness that shrouds the listener.
With no long winded introduction, Luca Santucci and Ben Fitzgerald proceeded to expel their first wave of soulful sadness over the audience. The first track, Starting Block, immediately established the duo’s signature style. The lyrics were extremely hard hitting and were sung in a poetic way through Luca’s falsetto singing, and thus allowing Unearthly Powers to kick in with an intoxicating beat. The audience were at once hypnotised and the thumping bass of the chorus was very infectious.
As the gig progressed to its half way stage, Better Than This portrayed a slight variation of what was played before and the tribal beat eventually evolved to become more percussion driven than previous tracks.
It’s Not That Easy contained a bass that was muffled and slightly irritating, yet the vocals powered through this, highlighting the consistency of the lyrical subject matter. By the time Penetrate begun, it was clear to see that the beats were very linear and lacked artistic changes, but nevertheless, Luca demonstrated great passion for his work, as he appeared immersed in each song from the start. Need Someone was the optimum closing track. It had a very pleasant intro and the transition of the song’s style was smooth. The audience loved it and remained enraptured from beginning to end.
All in all, the duo seems to have created a sound that is reminiscent of The Smiths and Joy Division, whilst keeping things effectively up to date through their instrumentation. The lyrics remain the strongest asset of the music and enhance the minimalist beats and melodies.
For more information on Stubborn Heart, visit their official website.
Watch the duo’s video for Need Someone here: