How does a band that includes Super Furry Animals’ bassist Guto Pryce be considered a hidden gem? Gulp is just that, as the quartet has been around for three years yet has been a relative unknown. Formed in 2012, Pryce teamed up with his partner, singer and keyboardist Lindsey Leven, drummer Gwion Llewelyn, and guitarist Gid Goundrey, and the foursome are creating some of the best synth-pop in the business. Their approach, however, isn’t prototypical synth-pop. Instead, Gulp incorporates different genres leading to a whirlwind of sounds.
Early in the band’s career, they released a 7″ split single featuring “Game Love” and “Diamonds in the Sky”. The single was a psychedelic take on synth-pop, something blown out from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club but with a synthesizer foundation. They followed that up with their second split single that included the Latin-influenced “Play” and the lush “Hot Water”.
In 2014, Gulp released their debut album, Season Sun, a ten-track album that goes from new wave to rock to dream synth. It’s a great album, but Season Sun was overshadowed by similarly stunning records by Coves and GEMS. While Season Sun wasn’t as accessible as the aforementioned releases, it deserves to be mentioned alongside those albums due to its wide-ranging and challenging synth-pop. A listen to the stunning, groovy, and trippy title track encapsulates the greatness of Gulp.
But the band hasn’t stopped producing new music. In October 2014, they released a disco-inspired, synth EP in I Want to Dance. A cross between ’70s sensation ABBA and Canadian synth-pop darling Lowell, I Want to Dance is more engaging and dreamy than their previous efforts. It’s an album that is more swaying in his nature than a full-blown dance compilation, but it’s still wildly fun and infectious. It’s an album perfect to spin at a laid back beach party or by the pool.
Given Gulp’s propensity to release music at a high rate, be on the look out for new stuff at any time. The band continues to play surprising gigs in the UK, showing up when you least expected. Their singles and albums, too, have also come out of the blue, so it’s best to track the band on their various social media sites. In the meantime, Gulp’s music can be purchased on Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, and eMusic, and you can discover why they are a hidden gem that should be unearthed.
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