The Umlauts are a new band made up of members from across the continent who met at Wimbledon College of Arts. Alfred Lear and Oliver Offord were old friends who started dabbling in music inspired by post-punk greats like The Fall and X-Ray Spex, but it was when they met Annabelle Mödlinger and Maria Vittoria Faldini, who have now become their vocalists, that things started to fall into place.
Emerging as a post-LCD Soundsystem, pre-apocalyptic electro-kraut quartet, The Umlauts are gearing up to release their debut EP Ü on PRAH in June. The release comes heralded by the exquisite lead single “Boiler Suits & Combat Boots”, which they say “was intended to be a humorous take on how artists fetishise Berlin as being the centre of the ‘cool’ art world and the dystopian uniformity that is contained within this.”
With most singing obscured or in German, aside from the hypnotically repeated title “Boiler Suits & Combat Boots”, the track at first feels like touching down in a cold and unusual city – but one full of life and electricity that you want to explore. Weaving polychromatic melodies and crunchy rhythms in and out of each other with stylish precision, The Umlauts bring you into their sway in no time. The crackling interplay of rippling synths with more acoustic elements and samples ensures a continuous tickling of the brain, while the squelching bass and mesmerising melodies make you want to move your body in ways you’d never previously imagined. It’s an addictive introduction to the group, and one that almost certainly will appeal to all those people they’re satirising.