Noblesse Oblige – Affair of the Heart
French performer Valerie Renay and German producer Sebastian Lee Philipp make up Noblesse Oblige, the electro-indie band that has inspired many a Berlin dance floor.
The band’s latest album, Affair of the Heart is a textured ensemble of beats and harmonies that stir your thoughts into a dream-like restlessness. Each track has its own unique character, fuelled by an energetic ambience. Songs such as In the Heat of the Night, for example, include the vague sound of birds in the background along with the distant rustle of nature, setting up for the tropical atmosphere that the instruments build to create.
The album does well to transport you into various scenes for each song, always slanting the style with a dazed quality. The layering of voices, whispers, and reverb in tracks such as Break Your Heart distance the listener from reality, offering fragments of emotion that cascade over your senses like strobe lighting.
You’ll feel as though you’ve been taken through a narrative with the ups and downs in tone: Chasing Shadows puts you in a sleepy, reflective state, whilst Vagabonde will have you feeling mysterious and seductive. Each hearing sketches new pieces of a story and a new character to be stepped into and explored.
It is easy to see why Noblesse Oblige have been so popular on the club circuit, with their passionate and distinctive sound. It’s difficult to resist bobbing your head to the scuttling beats of Runaway, which touch your eardrums like raindrops.
Affair of the Heart won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and it’s best suited to the transformative spaces of a dance floor, shifting with shapes into the early hours of the morning. The somewhat other-worldly presence and sense of alienation from normality will also appeal to the escapist’s imagination.
Affair of the Heart is released on 27th May 2013. For further information or to order the album visit Noblesse Oblige’s website.
Watch the video for Runaway here: