Electronic three piece from Manchester, No Ceremony/// are to release their much anticipated, self titled release this September, out on their own record label NoC///. After being thrust into the limelight in 2011/2012 having released only early singles “Hurtlove” and “Heartbreaker” the band have been keeping a low profile with a very minimal website making it clear they really are just about the music.
We still don’t know last names, but we do know James and Kelly are on keys, synth and production and Victoria plays bass and sings too. Apparently, the forward slashes following their name are something they want people to decide what they might mean, and that the number three is significant to them all.
“Hurtlove” opens No Ceremony/// with enchanting piano chords and vocals that have been run through effects for weird high-pitched chipmunk vocals that somehow work with the altogether more serious vibe of the track, it’s glitches and echoes. “Feel Solow” follows on with similar feelings but more audible vocals that are obviously Victoria’s. “Although my heart is gone, although my faith is gone, I’ll be waiting, I’ll be waiting ‘til it comes” the lyrics come in before uplifting trance-like beats and synth pulse forward to the question “Is it hard to make you love me? Is it wrong to make you love me?”
“Heartbreaker” features Joey Santiago from the Pixie’s on the guitar – his twangs a refreshing mix with the synth noises and gritty sounding pop-electronica of the song. A softer, wistful track “War Songs” sees Victoria take a more susceptible stance; “I’ve been searching the darkness, I’ve been searching the dark, now I’m lonely in my own home” and “All I learnt from love is it always breaks your heart”.
“Away From Here” sees the recognizably soft and enticing tones of James Vincent McMorrow, lovely piano and stripped back guitar complete the campfire feel. “Hold On Me” is a subtle enough to send listeners into a daze whilst piano, glitches and Victoria’s stunning vocals come together again in “Part Of Me” an album peak with an infectious rhythm and chorus; “There’s something in my heart, there’s parties on the street she said, if you look, if you look you’ll feel better now”.
Closing track “Heavy Hour” is the happiest track on the release, choral and fresh whilst still sounding vulnerable; “please don’t let me do this on my own”.
All in all, No Ceremony/// is a vast range of innovative songs filled with electronic sounds and a definite pulse, but is also an album rich with emotion embodying feelings of sadness, longing and desire.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.