ep review ~ the project sound ~ 'nude street'

Gently brimming underneath the surface of Belfast's bustling music scene is a young band with big potential and an even bigger sound. Formed as purely a Summer project two years ago by producer Andy Christie, guitarist Alastair Greyson and rapper Gershom Kaoma, 'The Project Sound' quickly established themselves as an exciting and vibrant three piece, pioneering the countries growing alternative hip-hop movement which has developed over recent years. Known for their passionate and honest lyricism, as well as their catchy hooks and rhythmic melodies, The Project Sound are very much at the forefront of a revolution waiting to happen, but much like short lived London outfit WU LYF they prefer to remain out of the spotlight, letting their dynamic soundscape and honest prose do the talking for them. Taylor Johnson had a listen to their latest EP...

The Project Sound are a band known for their commitment to originality and their strong mentalities, so it's no surprise to learn that their latest EP. 'Nude Street', comes straight out of the ingenious 'concept album' bracket. Based around a fictional utopia, where humanity can live without fear of judgement  and in perfect harmony, 'Nude Street' is the basis from which this EP is allowed to flourish.

Kicking off proceedings is the smooth, synthesized intro of 'Colour', a track that glides into life with the most upbeat and rhythmic saxophone solo's that sets the pace of this dancey opener. Kaoma's confident, yet expressive tone flows beautifully over the vivacious melody as the drums gradually begin to drive on the pace of the song, adding more purpose to each expertly linked lyric. As the verses fade into it's instrumental interlude, the songs engaging melody is given the freedom it needs to really enthrall, reaching heights that lead you to imagine thousands of festival goers dancing along in the Summer sun. It then leads to it's wonderfully haunting middle eighth, that see's Alastair Greyson's echoed vocals fall delicately over a soothing piano structure. The true nature at the heart of the songs meaning is then laid bare as Greyson croons; 'I'm screaming words in black and white, show me your light and that's enough', a plea to society to stop chasing the validation of others and instead to simply embrace who you are. Kaoma's fine rapping ability is invigorated for the second verse, with the first line particularly, 'Fighting for equality to be just who they wanna be'  incredibly empowering. The song fades out as melodically as it began, the breezy, dance elements retained until the final note.

This paves the way for the second track, the mesmerising rhythms of L.A.E (Love Addictive Ecstasy). Opening with a hypnotic and perpetual piano riff, L.A.E draws you in from the off. Again, creatively utilising a saxophone for an added counter melody, the song is driven forward by Kaoma's slick and measured vocal delivery. Christie's brilliant use of dramatic synths add to the pulsating atmosphere, as the song heads towards it's powerful and captivating bass drop. The line; 'You know it's ecstasy when you hear the project sound' adding an anthemic quality to a song that sets out to inspire as much as it sets out entertain. The songs unique jazz elements, fuse seamlessly with their distinctly hip hop routes, a rare and exciting combination that has rarely been fully embraced in such an audacious manner. You imagine that in any other format, it may not quite work. Yet, with The Project Sound, it is this unusual collaboration of three very different musicians that is the key to their success. With the title track reportedly still in production, this is an EP that still has more to offer, but with The Project Sounds strong message of self acceptance and self belief, you feel that these two tracks alone will continue to capture the public's attention in the meantime.

Review by Taylor Johnson

Listen to the 'Nude Street' EP on the bands Soundcloud here and keep up to date with all of the bands latest news here.

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