Thursday, 24 April 2014

#280: Apollo Junction - If I Fell (single review)

Born in the '80s, influenced by the '90s and bored by the '00s, Leeds-based electro-indie outfit Apollo Junction have found their popularity rising over recent months, and it's easy to why. Their infectious blend of anthemic song-writing and polished pop musicality has already won over fans at both XFM and the BBC, the latter of which debuting the band's first single 'Begin' on the Graham Norton show. As such, it seems unquestionable that the band are going anywhere but up, and if their recent release 'If I Fell' is anything to go by, it won't be long before they're a household name.

As far as Apollo Junction go, 'If I Fell' is them not straying, but waltzing into true ballad territory. Gone are the pulsing disco beats of previous releases such as 'Daylight', in their stead, stadium-sized production on the drums, occasional string trills and a brilliantly effective piano line. Lyricism has never been the band's strong point; never bad but hardly poetic. It seems here, however, that there's been a distinct maturing between singles and 'If I Fell' comes off all the better for it. Having eschewed the traditional 'party' vibe of their past output, Apollo Junction exhibit here a never before seen Everyman candour. Like the best song The Twang never wrote it's also easily the band's strongest to date.

In terms of slow and heartfelt indie anthems, it's hardly a barren wasteland should one choose to indulge themselves. But more often than not it seems, at least these days, that said anthems are more the bands ticking boxes on the Make-An-Album worksheet as opposed to wanting to create something special. Indeed it's easier to envision a polo-nosed Fray, Turner or Gallagher counting out cash rather than pining over a relationship. Not so the case with Apollo Junction. They're singing about personal situations and making them universal to the listener, but it could quite easily be the other way round, making universal situations personal. Either way the band have come on leaps and bounds over the year or so they've been on my radar, with each single more impressive than the last. With 'If I Fell' however, it seems these five lads from Leeds have cracked it, and it could very well go to be their breakthrough.