Daily Discovery: AlunaGeorge – Body Music

Zach Sweat

Pop has a totally different face in the UK. In the United States, the rules for a big hit are unspoken, yet omnipotent: a song cannot exceed the four-minute mark, it cannot deviate from the verse-chorus-verse structure for too long, and it cannot challenge your perception of what sounds are appropriate for writing a song with. For AlunaGeorge, the first two are applicable, though certainly more due to common belief in a songwriting process than adherence to a norm. However, the sounds that make up each hook on Body Music can be quite alien even to listeners in the UK.

AlunaGeorge is the clever portmanteau of songwriter Aluna Francis and producer George Reid. Body Music reached #11 on the UK, a remarkable feat considering it is the duo’s first proper album. Part of this success can be attributed to collaborations with Disclosure on “White Noise” and Rustie on “After Light,” both of which provided considerable exposure to the duo months before the release of Body Music.

It’s true that the unusual instrumentation is the first thing you’ll notice in Body Music (aside from Francis’ sensual voice), but AlunaGeorge is much more remarkable for the enthralling songwriting. These songs are earnest expressions of love, reciprocated or not, and borrow the best of R&B, EDM, and Hip-Hop for this purpose. As an album, there’s little growth of concept from beginning to end, but these tracks never wane in their catchiness. Each is just as memorable as the last, whether it’s the thickness of the production, the potency of the song’s message, or the strange sounds in the instrumentation that do it for you.

Recommended if you Like: Destiny’s Child, Disclosure, Austra
Check Out: “You Know You Like It,” “Your Drums, Your Love,” “Lost & Found”