Despite being one of the cheesiest, least loveable bands of the mid 00’s, it’s fast looking as though Test Icicles might have turned into one of the most influential acts that London’s dark alleys has managed to churn out. Of it’s three members, Dev Hynes, as we are all aware, has spent his twenties penning tracks for his own work as Lightspeed Champion, as well as fuelling the machine behind sickly warbler Florence Welch. Rory Attwell has been a bit more covert about his dealings, doing production for Male Bonding, Cold Pumas and Fair Ohs amongst many others. And now the triology of rebirths seems to be complete with Sam Mehran putting out work under the name Outer Limits Recordings.
In fairness, the trio never claimed to be enamoured with the racket they were making and, aside from ‘What’s Your Damage’, they were spot on. But this is the work of a man with definite mainstream sensibilities and the ability to pen an art-pop classic at the drop of a hat. Choosing youtube as the main medium, Mehran has focussed Outer Limits Recordings into a project that makes music is simultaneously saccharine and mind-bogglingly brilliant. It doesn’t even take one complete listen of ‘Julie’ to become completely tyransfixed – the bizarre mix of out-of-tune vocals, optimistic synth and cod acting melding together to make something near perfect.