A sure fire way to propel yourself into the musical spotlight, is to do an astoundingly different cover version of an existing tune, ‘All Along the Watchtower’, ‘Comfortably Numb’, ‘Hounds of Love’ et al, a feat being followed by Brooklyn trio Trick and the Heartstrings.
Equipped with a knack for making stylish R ‘n’B with the swagger of rock, they turned Bjork’s ‘Joga’ from a swish ice Ballard into twanging falsetto soulfunk, a change that’ll stop you in your tracks. That it’s a mere flipside to their own dirty slick driver ‘We’re the Hardest’, shows they’re no one trick ponies
They’re influenced by the likes of Talking Heads and Kate Bush, but equally by Chic and Prince. Does frontman Alex Gideon think that sort of R ‘n’ B is due for a comeback then? “I use a car analogy. When a car’s like 15 years old it’s just out of date, but then something happens about 10 years after that, it becomes good again and is seen as a classic. So yeah, maybe it’s time we looked again at The Whispers.”
They’re currently working with über producer Paul Epworth (Bloc Party, The Rapture, Mystery Jets) who put out their first 7″ on his own label Good and Evil. Alex describes Epworth as “something of a boy genius.”
Live they’re known for their high energy and choreographed moves. Choreographed? “It’s something unusual in rock but not at all in R ‘n’ B and even with rock, if you go back to the 60s and 70s it was common. Since Nirvana the fashion has been to do shows as if you don’t care. Well I do care; I want to make it the best possible show you can imagine.” They plan to hit the UK in October. We best get ready.
By Kenn Taylor