What’s this, a boy band on Matthew Herbert’s Accidental label? Well if you take in the question you will know the answer is not quite as straightforward as that, because the music Ilk make is anything but predictable. It is in fact a huge amount of fun, pop songs given an electronic and an experimental lease of life through unexpected chord progressions, oblique melodies and strangely meaningful lyrics. There are touches of the pop sensibility found in the music of producers like Bibio and Mark Pritchard, and other Accidental relations such as Micachu, but this really is that rare thing – a style of music you don’t hear anywhere else. ‘Gilgamesh’ charms but carries a little darkness with it too, while the fascinating ‘Salty Weather’, complete with the sounds of melting Lapland ice and an Indonesian street band, muses on the strife of leisure centres. Brexiteers would be appalled…but therein lies the charm of Ilk, who turn one way and the next in their navigations without spending too much time getting bogged down by the need to conform. That goes for tunes, harmonies and lyrics – and makes them a breath of fresh air.
5 out of 5