Having recently had the pleasure of seeing Nick Waterhouse his big and brassy brand of neo-soul the crowd were given another morsel of individuality. Max Pope an 18 year old from South London sloped on to the Hackney stage with a guitar around his neck and a pallor that befits a boy of his generation. His slowed down and whimsical slacker rock made enough mod faces smile that we had to make him our pick for this week’s Unsigned Sunday.
Pope’s set was so striking because of his complete lack of awareness to the audiences desire, a strange thing to compliment an artist with, i know. But it was this nonchalance that made his performance so endearing and honest, something which slowly turned an audience full of tailored shirts, flashing trilbys and gleaming cufflinks into a swaying mass of smiling, shuffling bodies.
Gone to Count Sheep hints at this with it’s jumping Krule inspired beats and the pranging and twanging guitar that highlights the youth that runs through the track. Dipping into Larrikin Love’s poetic justice and the scrappy surf-rock of Mac Demarco, without the demonic undertones. Instead with have a youthful optimism and a pop driven core.
Max Pope has the ability to take a predominantly American sound in to something quintessentially British, all excusing the sunshine. It’s apathetic at times, furious at points and with enough reggae infused soul to make any Sunday a sunny day.