One of the most intriguing tracks to come my way in recent times is surely The One‘s Double Life. The track may have originally surfaced a year ago, but it sounds as fresh as a daisy, although maybe not quite so pretty. The London duo of Joe Ryan (drums, keys and background vocals) and Emeson (vocals) describe themselves as crafting experimental soul influenced by Jam & Lewis, Kleer, Skinny Puppy, Gus Gus, Larry Heard and the legendary Robert Owens. Double Life, from their upcoming Who are You? album, certainly encompasses a number of the aforementioned influences, but succeeds in creating an individual sound, hanging over the precipice of what traditionalists consider to be soul music. While the major labels continue to view soul as a dusty artefact (best emulated rather than evolved), artists and bands like The One remind us that while inspiration can be derived by those that came before, it doesn’t have to be at the detriment of experimentation, or creating ‘new’ sounds.
Double Life is certainly no bouncy castle soul 2-stepper, with Emeson‘s haunting soulful vocals delivering elliptical lyrics that meld well with the moody soundscape, replete with some engaging 80s horror soundtrack keyboard work and a stirring percussive track. On this track, The One remind me of an Absinthe drenched version of 80s soul legends, The System, combining strong songwriting with a captivating experimental edge. Double Life is complimented by a mini horror flick of a video, further marking the duo out as an act refreshingly different to the norm.
The duo’s debut album, Who are you?, should be with us before the end of the year. Prior to that the guys will be announcing some live shows in the next few weeks and are scheduled to play a London gig with the much loved Danish electronic soul duo, Quadron, at the start of December. Without a dout, Joe and Emeson are The One to watch!
Find out more about The One via their website, www.theoneuk.com