The British duo of singer Aluna Francis and producer George Reid is the latest in a string of upstart acts to turn drowsy, Timbaland-influenced beats into something more overtly pop.
With 90s R&B such a ubiquitous influence on both indie producers and the wannabe melismatic divas on TV talent shows, there's a noticeable drought in vocal inventiveness. It seems anyone can bluff his or her way through a Neptunes-style track, but truly original singers are harder to come by. That's where AlunaGeorge stand apart.
Unabashedly British and helium-voiced, Francis is full of chirpy licks and keeps the runs to a minimum. At 14 tracks (19 on the deluxe), Body Music feels overlong for a debut, but she's melodic enough to captivate even when Reid's hissing minimalism and spastic beats start to feel warmed over. The best tracks are the brightest: the brilliantly catchy Attracting Flies, the chuggy Just A Touch (strikingly similar to Estelle's song of the same name) and the skittering, two-step-indebted Your Drums, Your Love.
Top track: Attracting Flies
AlunaGeorge play the Hoxton September 9.