[16 March 2012]
A few months ago, this gig was announced for a date at the tiny Mercury Lounge by a new band called New Build. Only thing was the group’s members have been in some very big bands, namely LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip. So when that night quickly sold out, another was added with the same result. Maybe New Build’s indie pop is a bit underdeveloped—not the perfectly polished party music of Hot Chip or the brilliantly nuanced dance music of LCD Soundsystem, but it’s a welcome addition to the scene just the same. The crowd that did manage entrance to the first show on March 13 was eager to get their groove on and the set list certainly did not disappoint anyone in that regard.
The group began with the wistful solo guitar lines into over the synth intro of “Mercy” before kicking into a multi-layered world music beat. “Round and round I go, getting no further,” lyricist Al Doyle sang while strumming his guitar. But that’s exactly what the motive was for everyone in attendance—we’re all here for a dance party so why not let it begin. Up on stage, Doyle was surrounded by six musicians playing bass, various percussion and all things synth. Bassist Ben Ubly jumped behind the keyboard set up to help out Tom Hopkins and Felix Martin while Joy Joseph provided smooth backing vocals and a steel drum when needed. Next, the band confidently played a new song not even released yet, a reggae-esque “Double Back”. They then launched into their first single, “Finding Reasons,” with a thumping beat.
The highlight of the night came appropriately with their current single, “Do You Not Feel Loved?”. Doyle was an affable frontman, smiling at the crowd’s reactions and introducing musicians sharing the stage plus their songs with some occasional background explanations. New Build’s first two releases are limited edition 12”s but you can also find their songs on Soundcloud.