Any guy that names himself after French cat chatter is alright by us. The bonus is that Julian Corrie makes brilliant music too. The ex-Maple Leaves, singer-songwriter, remixer and producer has been knocking out tunes from his Glasgow base for a few years now, but Light Of The North is Miaoux Miaoux’s first full-length proper. And we’re glad he finally got around to it.
Corrie caters in stunning sonic collages, delicately pieced together from pacey bit beats, chopped electronics, pealing synths, ringing acoustic guitars and his clear pristine vocal that carries an array of sweet pop melodies across the top. The wobbling bass and rat-a-tat rhythm combo of ‘Autopilot’ is an early standout, and ‘Cloud Computer’’s instrumental glitch fit is like a younger, yappy brother to label-mate Human Don’t Be Angry’s more sage offerings. He looks further afield for inspiration for lo-fi house duet ‘Is It A Dream’, however: is that Armand Van Helden we hear in there? And ‘Virtua Fighter’ summons up classic emo JT, it’s Hot Chip covering ‘Cry Me A River’ at karaoke and comes complete with added R’n’B squelch and guest rapper.
And the highlights continue. ‘Stop The Clocks’ sees Corrie beckoning us coyly onto the dancefloor with a snaky bassline, glistening riffs and pounding drums. “Time is passing me and you,” he chirps before instructing us to “stop clocks, reset your watches and alarms…elevate your hands and dance”. We don’t need to be asked twice. ‘Hey Sound’ has already set the wheels in motion, its distinctly rave-like intro, treacle-thick bass and playful vocals whipping us into the kind of party mood you get after too many pear ciders.
Miaoux Miaoux’s more introspective moments sparkle too. The sumptuous, piano-led ‘Better For Now’ is a graceful and dignified account of a relationship breakdown, Corrie advising his other half to “put your belief in something that won’t let you down” as they’ve got “one more day to decipher whether we might just weather the storm”. And ‘Singing In The Dark’ is pure Postal Service with its soaring falsetto, the singer’s late-night croons falling on deaf ears as he decides “I’ll be on my way before you take it all away”. But it’s ‘Ribbon Falls’ that is Light Of The North’s must-hear moment, as keys, guitars and punchy beats lead us to the kind of epic chorus that, when combined with a heightened emotional state, might just make your heart burst with joy. “You can call my name out as loud as you can”, Corrie chants, “this is not the end or auf wiedersehn… you can call my name out”. It’s “just a song to help you get on okay”. Job done.