Solar State, Natalie McCool, Polaroid 85 @ The Macbeth

Sirens calling

Natalie McCool © Alex Lloyd


Sirens Calling.

MK-47 decided to spend Tuesday night wrapped in sophisticated lyricism, giving rock and its various noisy legs a little downtime at The Macbeth. Solo ladies Mwen and Natalie McCool alternated on stage with bands like Solar State and Polaroid 85, each deploying their therapeutic beginning-of-the-week blend of harmonies and electronics.
Arriving a little too late for Mwen’s one-woman drum show, I came across the intriguing foursome of Solar State. Funnily, Kate S’s vocals bore an uncanny resemblance to Lily Allen (or maybe Kate Nash?), no matter how the band’s music stranded away. Songs like Sirens and Firelight painted rather shadowy, romantic pop landscapes that escaped the blunt confines of the capital, intertwining the band’s love of Sigur Ros and Four Tet with their own lyrical vein.
Solar State © Danai Molocha
Theirs was, admittedly, an act that Natalie Mc Cool found hard to follow; if anything, cause she had to succeed a party of guitars, electronics, violin and drums with just an acoustic guitar against a restless and somewhat disrespectful crowd. One that, nevertheless, Ms (Mc)Cool partly mastered as her imagery unravelled. Songs from her two EPs, Black Sun and Shoot Shoot, were inspired of models’ favourite Size Zero and the stressful modern London life; but somehow her voice and melodies resembled those of an obscure siren narrating legends in Celtic waters.
The night saved the biggest for last. Polaroid 85 swarmed up the little stage armed with synths, clarinet, violin, cello, bass and drums - by their newest member, Mwen herself - together tuning into modern romances with a folky edge. Despite their variety of instruments and layers of sonic colour, though, Polaroid 85 have an unmistakeably lyrical, feminine touch. In all respect, not everybody’s cup of tea.

Review by Danai Molocha for

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