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The Manatees release latest cut:'Buttercup'

by Isabel Williams

The Manatees' latest track 'Buttercup' is a feverish musical rendering of the tensions that can rise in a romantic relationship.

With the introduction of the New Year, up and coming indie rock band The Manatees are introducing something fresh of their own: the release of their latest single ‘Buttercup’, with an electrifying music video to accompany it. Having only just finished opening shows across the UK for the notorious Sundara Karma’s recent tour, the band are already rolling up their proverbial sleeves to set off on a tour of their own, playing tracks from their latest EP, ‘A Different State of Mind’.

Their newest track steps away from the funk-inspired origins of their earlier songs and towards a darker, more feverous energy, but still maintains the band’s signature stylistic groove. It’s the same Manatees, but with a newly rough-hewn edge. The song breaks into motion with something loosely resembling the crashing of far-off thunder, before the intricately skittering guitar riffs come into play. As momentum starts to build, lead singer Jay Harris’ voice grows from an anxious breathiness to a searing exhalation of anger and doubt. It’s a well-accomplished rendering of the kind of tension that can build up under the pressure of a romantic relationship. Speaking about the track in a press release, Jay Harris said the lyrics are “really about how exhausting love can be. Being extremely vulnerable to someone, yet utterly addicted at the same time. […] The longer you’re with someone, the greater those intricacies become, whilst also putting so much more on the line as you delve deeper into life together. You have to jump bigger hurdles, handle more substantial squabbles and ultimately sacrifice something along the way.”

Hailing from a sleepy town on the south coast of England and now residing in London, the success of band members Jay, Tyler and Miller seems to be travelling on an upward momentum. The Manatees’ artistry has already caught the attention of culture influencing trend-makers such as BBC One’s Jack Saunders, prompting an interview on his radio show “Next Wave”. Their love for hip hop samples, funk-driven basslines and sparkling guitars has drawn in comparisons to everyone from MGMT to Klaxons via Jungle, Wolf Alice and The Strokes.

The music video released to accompany ‘Buttercup’ is an outward exorcising of the song’s weighty anxiety: a chaotic yet controlled mish-mashing of claustrophobic close-ups, blurry half formed figures and strobing lights, all shot in a dramatic black and white that only emphasises the vibrancy of the band’s playing. With just this visual enhancement, drums hit harder and guitars twang faster. The overall effect is exhilarating and deeply immersive.

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