Taut disco punk with a flamboyant air - Clash Magazine
Canadian/Leeds five piece New Hands are now streaming a new track, ‘Strange Attractor’. Mixed by Holy Fuck’s Graham Walsh, it comes ahead of New Hands’ debut album release, due in 2015.
Perhaps one of the few bands to claim equal provenance in both Canada’s Central East and West Yorkshire (synth/keys man Ben Munoz is a graduate of the University of Leeds), New Hands’ continent-straddling origins seem particularly apt in the face of their category-defying music. Working under a name deliberately elected for its openness to interpretation, New Hands combine live rock with electronic elements to compelling results, providing (along with the likes of Hyperdub-signing Jessy Lanza) an intriguing counterpoint to the Hamilton, Ontario rock scene from which they were birthed.
It’s perhaps unsurprising then, that the taut unease of new single ‘Strange Attractor’ feels as equally informed by a love amongst New Hands’ personnel as strong for the likes of Burial (check the insistent, echoed synth pulse and rippling electronics at the track’s nucleus) as for the lean emotional charge packed by their fellow countryman Caribou. The whole affair is lent distinctly dystopian overtones by the sonorous intonation of frontman Spence Newell, a fresh-faced Hamilton native in possession of an improbably well-aged baritone vocal.
For all its wilful elusiveness, that’s not to say the world of New Hands is without playfulness- from the band shot depicting all but Newell as blurred horror-comic figures doused in white paint, to the upcoming video treatment of ‘Strange Attractor’ (painstakingly constructed using over 300 archive gifs which load in a random, unique sequencing each time the video is viewed), there is a wry self-awareness woven through the band’s fibre.
In its mathematical context, the term ‘strange attractor’ refers to ‘a complex pattern of behaviour within a chaotic system’ – laterally, this allusion feels likely indicative of what we might expect in future from a band who embrace their ambiguity to such vital effect.
Whilst you;re reading this, you can check out a remix by New Hands. Spawned from the same Ontario scene as Hyperdub's Jessy Lanza, New Hands have just finished this technicolour re-rub of fellow Canadians Illitry's 'Follow Me'.
Keep your ears to the ground for more news on their debut album that will be landing in 2015....