Electrelane–Gone Under Sea

I had always assumed that Electrelane was a French band that sang in English (and German and Spanish), but it turns out it’s the other way round.  Despite opening their stellar sophomore album, The Power Out, in full French, the band is actually based in Brighton.  I’ve also never bothered to look up a translation of the lyrics for Gone Under Sea because it’s wholly unnecessary for loving the song.  It’s a simple, driving tune that sounds like C86 recorded for a rainy night.  With a bass line that Peter Hook might have whipped up for Joy Division, a guitar line at home with The Chills and a vocal track that flips between mournful murmur and wolf-like yelp, the band forges something moving and memorable from elements so familiar they are almost mundane.  While the band would stretch themselves further later in the album, Gone Under Sea is a lesson in finding freedom through constraint.

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