The independent London-based band Sweet Tooth truly separate themselves from the crowd with their unusual and enveloping sound. Described as “cinematic”, they do not boast a genre-title commonly heard or referred to. To sum it up, one should imagine the soundtrack to a prohibition-era romance or the remake of a glossy black and white classic. That all-encompassing quality to an original soundtrack that pulls you effortless into the film is ever-present in Sweet Tooth’s ambient and laid-back sound.
The fascinating combination of an ex-husband and wife team birthed a brilliant source of creativity, the pair openly admitting to their eclectic array of influences and tastes. Perhaps this strange intimacy between the pair, and the nature of their relationship, adds to the tender subtle sound of their latest release.
The album, Everybody Wants To Be In Love, seems born for a glitzy Soho jazz club, with its sultry pop sound and a decorated swing-feel vibe. It seems to be an amalgamation of cinematic history, acting as a musical cross-section of the last five decades in film. This unfamiliar mix of such modern and dated inspirations has a hit-and-miss effect, and sometimes the lounge sound ends up a little lost. And yet, there is something very intriguing about Sweet Tooth’s unusual choices.
There is much of classic Hollywood in this album, particularly in ‘Venus in Hollywood’ and ‘Moonlight Bunnyranch’. Between these two tracks we see snippets of American movie graces, from show-time chorus girls to ’80s cosmopolitan blockbusters. The album then seemingly dips into the pessimistic pool of film noir in the tinny vocals of ‘Walk with me’, and plays with the world of French cinema through the edgy approach of ‘La Vie Anglaise’ and its marriage of London-Parisian passion.
From doe-eyed starlets to seductive love affairs, there is something familiar in the songs ‘Black Tears’ and ‘Black Is The Colour’. If the theme of movie influences is to continue one can definitely suggest that Sweet Tooth lead singer Fleurtini and guitarist Gavin Hammond may have a soft spot for dashing double-O sevens and their provocative theme tunes. And then, what better way to finish off our movie theme than the song ‘At Your Leisure’, the perfect poignant end to any tragic film.
Two central sounds of this album are electronica and jazz, and their influences can be heard across nearly every track. The namesake track of the album, ‘Everybody Wants To Be In Love’, has both synthesised reverbs and jazz-esque piano, which cumulatively crescendo into ethereal orchestral ballad setting the genre of the entire album.
Indeed, nowhere can these electronic influences be better heard than in the song ‘Ooh Boy!’, a down-tempo synthesised symphony that still carries that swing quality. Their emphasis on electronica is hardly surprising since their past collaborations have included Hiatus, Deep Child and Bart & Baker, all which clearly has provided creative stimulus for the synth sounds of this album.
This album is an ambient dream and the perfect playlist to wind down a classy cocktail party, but it can hardly be called inspiring. The final push for a masterful amalgamation of cinema and musical sound is lost somewhere in the mist of inspirations. Nevertheless, Sweet Tooth have created an LP with a swing in its step that can take you away to back alley piano bars full of chorus girls and dandies.
Everybody Wants To Be In Love is out now via Devil’s Advocaat.