Review: International Hyper Rhytmique – Uncity Nation

The fantastically-named International Hyper Rhythmique are made up of French siblings from the Martial-Guilhem family. With Laurence on vocals, Claire on keyboard and drums and their brother Jean on guitar, this Toulouse trio present a very attractive form of leftfield electronic pop music.

‘Monday 7.24’ is populated by luxurious synth washes, sighed harmonies, chiming guitars and minimalist beats. It’s blissful but if we’re being harsh it’s nothing French acts haven’t done before. Where the group come in to their own is when they concentrate on writing modern, slightly edgy songs. Thankfully they do this for the rest of the album.

For ‘Carry Out’ and ‘Les Yeux De Juin’, Laurence’s slightly cracked vocals match the melancholic ache of her brother’s guitar. Listen out too for ‘Monday Morning’ where it’s easy to be swept away by the trio’s moody excellence. At the opposite end of the scale, the considerably more aggressive ‘La Plus Petite Tempête De Neige’ reminds me of Piano Magic when they occasionally rock out but the decidely oddball ‘Grand Whiskey’ reminds me of no one at all. Then just when you think a great album is over, they top the lot with closer ‘My Love’, where all their hooks and emotional yearning join together to make an alternative classic, complete with a heartache of a chorus.

Although the album is a mere thirty-five minutes in length, ‘Uncity Nation’ never mistakes its insouciance for dullness. Instead we have a deep and intelligent record full of Gallic flair and original songwriting.

Web Sites:
International Hyper Rhytmique Official Site
International Hyper Rhytmique MySpace

Further Listening:
Piano Magic, Telepathe


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