Album Review: Galaxians – Chemical Reaction

The second album from Leeds disco funk trio, Galaxians, out via Stargaze on 26th June.

During the lockdown period and Covid-19 crisis, the music I have reviewed has been mostly works of internal reflection and contemplation, there has not been that music which has been reactionary in a sense of letting your hair down. We forget that the weather has been glorious throughout this period of personal isolation with temperatures soaring to nearly 30 degrees.

This new album release from Leeds’ Galaxians is the album this period of prolonged sunshine has been asking for, a burst of potent sunshine that we need for these periods of barbecues and gardening.

Starting off with the title track not merely as a statement of intent, it is a statement of direct persuasiveness, Chemical Reaction is a jolt of five plus minutes of funk that does not give you the vocals of Emma Mason until two plus minutes into the track. The track is a burst of vibrant energy full of retrospective sounds but full of influence and the DIY scene.

Mason along with Matt Woodward (drums) and Jed Skinner (synths) are a band that they themselves refer to as fuelled by ‘too much coffee and too many donuts’.  It is this carefree nature that feeds into the tracks ranging from ‘Heartbreaker’, about female empowerment, to ‘Not the Money’, which is about working for the pride of working.

This harks back to old-school summer vibes of Montell Jordan, Coolio yet with the influence of Roisin Murphy in the vocal delivery of Mason; there is the 80s post-disco funk of Evelyn King for example along with boogie, garage and basslines aplenty.

Tracks remind this listener of that other great disco album of the 21st century, that of the Scissor Sisters debut album, which had that infusion of pop and disco cred; but this is more akin to that band’s apex along with Moloko – a titanic female lead vocalist with cool production chops to match.

The second album from Leeds disco-funk trio Galaxians is out via Stargaze on June 26th. The album is available on the band’s Bandcamp page here

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