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Slick Maturity by Dimbleby and Capper

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Reviewed on 1st May 2010.


Slick Maturity

By Dimbleby and Capper

I think we all know by now how new artists work: regardless of whether they acknowledge it or not, they strive to be the sum of all their influences whilst maintaining some degree of originality. Yet we also know that 'individuality' can be even harder to achieve for those artists who are emerging into an already saturated 'scene,' one where countless other similar musicians are established. It's then par of the course that music journalists will view the 'new crop' in context of what's already on offer, merely conducting a spot-the-difference exercise.

In this light, Dimbleby and Capper, pseudonym of 22 year-old songwriter and producer Laura Bettinson, has probably picked the most difficult time to try and establish herself as an original and kooky solo female artist; over the last four years, the British music industry has been coloured more and more by them, to the point that there's very little separating Florence and the Machine, Little Boots, La Roux, Robyn and Annie, and their electro-pop tendencies.

However, although there may be traces of each of these artists in her (vocally and lyrically she recalls Little Boots' endearing charm; in her left-field fashion sense, there's signs of Florence's eccentricity; and in her reliance of drum machines, synths and countless other 80's textures, there's La Roux's musical direction,) in 'Slick Maturity,' Dimbleby & Capper has found something that's still exciting, something still refreshing, and a sound that's still hers.

Whereas on stage she relies on the support of numerous mask wearing associates standing beside her, on record 'Slick Maturity' sounds nothing more than a private, bedroom floor experiment of hers. Her DIY ethic lies at the heart of the track, yet she somehow adeptly finds a way of fitting together all of processed drums, fuzzy synths, hypnotic loops and gurgling electronics, to form what seems to be a smooth jigsaw puzzle.

Elements of Italo-disco, New Wave and Electronica converge throughout, ensuring 'Slick Maturity' is not the two-dimensional glossy, disco-pop confection that many may mistake it for. In fact, in her cutting lyrics (at one point she despondently admits "[It's] Hard to keep a straight face / When you're broke" and that "she waits for the light to find her,") that mark the track with unexpected emotion, we discover it's not the generic, insincere electro-pop we were expecting; it's something much more than that.

A couple days ago, I read an article in Q that announced: "From Florence Welch to Ellie Goulding, the sound of 2010 is decidedly female." Ultimately, I think it's time we add Dimbleby and Capper to that list, don't you?



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