On the sleeve to Bim’s debut album are the words ‘We owe everything to you for supporting independent music.’ Independent is very much the operative word. This London twosome do everything themselves. They wrote, performed, recorded, produced, financed and released this record. You cannot get any more independent than that. Regular readers will know that I’ve been bleating on about these guys for a while now and make no mistake, I take great pleasure in what I am about to say.
I told you so.
Scatterheart is a wonderful record – as diverse as it is beautiful. London should be very proud, indeed. Opening with ‘Raindrops’ it becomes immediately apparent that Bim have grown somewhat. Far from the quiet, understated electro we have become used to, this song is a straight up pop monster. Interchanging vocals like a couple of kids playing tag in the playground, Rebecca and Tim – over a soundscape of guitars, synths and pounding drums – take you on a roller coaster with this song – without having to spend £15 on the world’s most unflattering photograph afterwards.
A great start then, but the best is yet to come. ‘Head Over Heels’ is another big, brash pop song with a dance beat mixed in for good measure. ‘A Loving Side’ is a softer, gentler affair altogether which allows Rebecca’s vocal to whisper a tender love letter to a friend that means more than a friend should ‘I start to make my perfect excuses / I have a lot of them / I use a lot of them on you… I pretend to be your friend again / I’ve got a loving side for you.’
‘Promises’ is the most heartbreaking and thought provoking song on the record; the two sound on the verge of tears as they sing over quiet piano chords ‘They say that a hero will never die / Tell that to my son as their sights align / Another number is counted up / Our perfect one which we loved so much.’ It is the softest, yet the most powerful, song here.
Elsewhere some more familiar songs make an appearance. ‘The Battle’, ‘Ready To Love’ and ‘Stay In My Memory’ all seem to have a new edge to them when played with these new songs, which is testament to their quality. The album is brought to a close, aptly, with ‘The Magic Of Us’, an emotive ballad which manges to to avoid the trap that so many ballads get caught in and stays on the right side of that line labelled ‘cheesy’ It takes an enormous amount of talent to make something of this quality without any help from experienced producers and record label funds. Yet it is difficult to see where either of those could have improved this record.
Independent music never sounded so good.