Somewhere around the 1:37 mark in TWOFVCE’s excellent new single Alfred Israël B, as the song builds grandly from the bridge into a powerful instrumental chorus, I began to feel the steady beat of the track in my chest — thumping against my ribcage in time with my heartbeat (or perhaps my heartbeat in time with it).
This song gets in you.
TWOFVCE is a Belgian band hailing from Antwerp made up of four members who have been making an eclectic blend of electronic and soul music together for years. After a bit of nudging to name names off what is an endless list of inspirations, they cite influences as wide-ranging as J.J. Cale, D’Angelo, SOHN, Nick Murphy/Chet Faker, The True Loves, Balthazar, Kendrick Lamar, and alt-J. (No wonder I like these lads so much.)
WtMM is thrilled to premier Alfred Israël B, the first advance single off TWOFVCE’s upcoming EP Always Behind dropping next Friday, February 15. According to the band, the EP represents a milestone in defining their sound; an important step up in production and growth as a cohesive unit of four individual, talented, multi-instrumental musicians. Thematically, the title is a nod to that sense of *just* missing something. Day-to-day deadlines. An important opportunity. Chasing someone who is hard to reach and the ensuing feeling of rejection. Feeling like an outsider.
Alfred Israël B riffs on the same theme, with lyrics that tell a story of someone who died in WWII.
“He should have left town, but he was not aware that they were all around /
The way they took him down, with a lot of people on a deadly ground.”
But, it’s the music of this track that stirs the most emotion and showcases TWOFVCE’s hard-earned, polished sonic identity. Starting off with an unaccompanied piano line that smacks of Billy Joel, the beat drops and settles into an easy, loping groove laced with atmospheric vocals, a nicely punctuated guitar solo, and gorgeous touches throughout (synth shimmers and quick little keyboard riffs). The verse builds through that hypnotic, heartbeat-mimicking bridge to the drop and a deliciously contrasting chorus — a dominant blast of synths and a wall of pulsating sound.
The chorus drops back for the second verse and starts the pattern over, but with more edge and a bit of gravel in the vocals. There’s a sense of urgency and the resulting second chorus is even bigger. Hell, they even add a keytar sound…in all of it’s high-pitched, dissonant glory. If that’s not a sign of musical confidence, I don’t know what is. Used poorly, the keytar tone is just punishing. But, it’s deployed perfectly here and it adds a unique layer to an ever-growing, throbbing, shimmering soundscape as the track builds and builds right to the end.
Put on your preferred noise-canceling headphones or crank your stereo to 11 because, as much as the song gets in you, it also surrounds you. It’s immersive. The beat draws you in and pulls you along, but the chorus — with all of its noise and textures — holds you; offering a sense of weightlessness amidst all of the heaving and churning outside.
This is a great new track from a band hungry to find its voice and share its sound. Learn more about TWOFVCE with the links below and cop Always Behind when it drops next Friday.
UPDATE! Always Behind is out, released today, February 15! Check it out.
More songs like this can be found at our weekly updated Spotify playlist: