Malpas is a new project by Birmingham/London folk-tronica duo. The collaboration between musician Ali Forbes and production impresario Andy Savours (who has produced work by The Horrors, My Bloody Valentine and Sigur Ros during his career), resulted in a meld of synthetic and organic instrumentation to forge this this genre-bending début. Sounds interesting? That’s just what we thought. Malpas began with a few fragile folk songs recorded in an attic in Kings Heath, Birmingham featuring “low-key vocals embedded in interlocking loops of acoustic instruments and found percussion.”
There is much care on show from the off with ‘Under Her Sails’ the lyric detail works across the light melodic acoustic and electronic array of sounds. No surprise that stealing the show is the repeated refrain of single ‘The River Runs’ that hits home. With much work by Andy Savours over and under-pinning a solid instrumentation and vocal by Ali Forbes. the creative curve shows no sign of slowing as the quality of Malpas’ album runs through song after song each with creative merit, ‘Rain River Sea’ does not feel like a debut album. Hear ‘Promise’ or ‘Sea Decide’ to ‘Spiders’ and you’ll perhaps be hard-pressed to disagree. It will be interesting what many a festival audience make of Malpas, hopefully they can bring the band’s full sound to the fore onstage, it would be a pity of too many deft touches failed to come across in an open space, but at least through headphones no such imagined problems.
Malpas have managed to exceed expectations raised by November 2014’s ‘Promise’ EP, but in the well-crafted 10-track debut the duo have really come through. ‘Rain River Sea’ impresses. 8/10
Hear new single ‘The River Runs’