By now you may have heard “So Long My Love” by Tomorrow’s World, a noirish cut of Suicide-meets-Shangri-La’s pop that’s smooth to the touch but scored with darker intent. The opening track on the latest Kitsuné compilation, it’s the perfect introduction to this new duo, a joint venture between London-based singer and musician, Lou Hayter and Jean-Benoit Dunckel of the French band Air. An album of their cinematic love songs– informed by the likes of Factory Floor, Angelo Badalamenti and Lil Louis – is due later this year.
In Tomorrow’s World, Jean-Benoit and Lou write all the music together. The pair began recording together in Paris in the summer of 2010 after Lou was recommended to Jean-Benoit, who had been toying with the idea of working with a singer during a break from Air. He heard Lou's solo project, The New Sins and liked her voice so much that he invited her to Paris to see what could happen in the studio. The chemistry was undeniable. “We wanted to do just one track but ended up doing 11,” says Jean-Benoit.
“Every time we met up we’d write three songs, and very quickly we had a whole album,” adds Lou. “Everything has been written on the spur of the moment since we’ve been together. What’s so exciting is it’s all brand new.”
“These new songs are more abstract and much darker.” Jean-Benoit, too, couldn’t help but approach Tomorrow’s Worlddifferently to Air. “When I do things through Lou it’s like an inspiration, the energy is not the same,” he says. “There is more femininity in the music, and also together we like to go into a dark mood. We have this new sound together.”
Furthermore, Jean-Benoit loved the challenge of working with an English girl. “We're half English and half French by design,” he says, “but it makes the music sound better.”
Chosen by Lou, the name Tomorrow’s World – at once evocative of the past and the future – comes from the title of the BBC’s long-running science show, last broadcast in 2003. “If you don’t think of the TV show, the name makes you imagine something you haven’t seen before,” Lou says.“And if you think about it, most younger kids won’t have heard ofTomorrow’s World.”
Stalking the hinterland of Ballardian, industrial electronics and soulful pop, their lovestruck songs “Think of Me”, “You Taste Sweeter”, “Life on Earth” and “Inside”, pit Lou’s vulnerability against Jean-Benoit’s turbulent electronics. Recording in Paris, the Tomorrow’s World sound evolved at pace. “We were recording in winter and it feels like there’s quite a tense, sinister sound throughout the album,” says Lou. “What’s weird is that I got mugged when we were in the middle of writing “Catch Me”, which is a song about running away from someone chasing you.”
For Jean-Benoit, now that the songs are in the bag and the band is real, the energy is changing. “Before, it was like an experience, I didn’t know where to go, but now we have a vision. For example, when we record songs we know what we have to do concerning the band. The style of the music has to be in accordance with what we’ve done previously. We have a soul together.”
Though Tomorrow’s World already bear the hallmarks of a classic synth duo, Lou was initially daunted by the idea of fronting the band but she feels happy when with her new partner. “I feel confident with JB because I don’t think it is just about me, it’s about a shared responsibility,” she says. “We both sing and we’re both equal partners, so I don’t feel alone.” “It’s good to be in danger,” adds Jean-Benoit. Tomorrow’s World: one full of intrigue and wonder.
* Heavyweight 180-gram vinyl pressing
* Mastered for vinyl at Metropolis London
* Full colour outer sleeve
* First pressing limited to 500 copies worldwide
Published: 6th September 2012