Overmono, 'Is U'
In Britain in the late 2000s, Tom Russell and his brother Ed were still forging their identities as dance-music producers — it wasn't until the following decade that they really found themselves: Tom would work in prismatic industrial modes, while Ed found himself part of the thriving post-dubstep scene known as U.K. bass. The pair eventually joined forces as Overmono, bearing the same name as one of Tom's early songs, and ever since have been tinkering with and building on their country's rich history of dance music.
Ahead of a debut album, Good Lies, out on May 12 via XL, the Russells have delivered an unassailable scorcher with "Is U" — like their hit "So U Kno," it has the makings of a classic. The vocal sample is addictive, its skittering 2-step beat nimble but tough, while layered synths suffuse everything with dynamic energy. Vocals come courtesy of English singer-songwriter Tirzah, whose contributions are dragged through a series of reverberating synth pulses, some bright, others moody — but the overarching effect is that of transformation. Her homespun confessional suddenly becomes an assertive declaration of longing; "All I want is you," goes the refrain. As the bass rumbles underneath, the pangs of desire become unmistakably physical.
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