Album review: Total Strife Forever by East India Youth

Total Strife Forever by East India Youth

Total Strife Forever by East India Youth

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The ‘buzz’ artist of the moment, William Doyle was formerly leader of a bookish indie band called Doyle and the Forefathers.

As East India Youth, last year he recorded an EP, Hostel, which excited website The Quietus so much it formed a record label simply to release it.

This album mixes the kind of throbbing ambient soundscapes of which Brian Eno would be proud with shades of Harold Budd-like minimalism, a couple of sweet, catchy synth pop numbers and, at one surprising juncture, a pulsating acid house workout.

At his best, on Dripping Down and Looking For Someone, Doyle is an affecting songwriter. The former is full of giddy, cascading synthesisers; the latter aches with repressed yearning.

Song For a Granular Piano is crepuscular mood music; Heaven, How Long sighs “I cannot give less than my heart”.

The curveball is Hinterland, a frisky, bleepy instrumental that wouldn’t sound out of place on the dancefloor.

An uneven but nonetheless fascinating record.

The Unthanks with Molly Drake

Music interview: The Unthanks on the songs and poems of Molly Drake