Recent releases from the Neon Gold label out of New York include vinyls from Marina&amp; The Diamonds and Passion Pit, bands that emanate knife-sharp contemporary suss. The label's on a bit of a roll but when their latest, a 7'' single from Wolf Gang hits the deck, it's still a surprise.
'Pieces Of You' mingles and merges influences with ease, coming on like The Talking Heads produced by Phil Spector for a Greek bouzouki hoedown. Recorded at home on a four-track, it's a perfectly formed rough diamond and classic pop. "I couldn't care less about appealing to flippant, scenester people," explains the man behind Wolf Gang, 22 year old Max McElligott, with cheerful intensity, "Pop's had a bad name but it's high time it was brought back into the fold as meaningful and cool.&quot;
His four-piece band play regularly at under-the-radar gigs round London and he's putting the finishing touches to an album, much of which was composed on a piano left in the house where he lives by previous owner Clive Langer, producer of Madness and Morrissey.
Something dormant awoke when Max left home to attend the London School of Economics. Not so much due to Social Anthropology lectures, as the lavish house parties he organized and the sunny days spent squiring dates down the Thames in a rowing boat. He was drawn weekly to the speakeasy glamour of Cafe Royale's now defunct 1920s night, where he enjoyed swing-dancing A-list actresses into the early hours. His own parties even developed a well-deserved reputation- especially his notorious masked balls.
His musical blooming was revelatory, if less expected. A couple of years previously he and a friend put a couple of joke music videos on YouTube. They became a must-see sensation amongst their extended network of friends. When Max went to London he met people who'd seen them and encouraged him to write more music. As he did so, the penny dropped.