Released last week, these two tracks by 4000Records artists Fingerless and Cloud Tangle are inspired by Killing Eve - everyone’s favourite assassin-themed hit show at the moment. Using murky, cinematic arrangements and often maximalist production values that seem straight out of a Bond intro, this double single has all there is to love about pop music with a bit of decadence at its heart.
Fingerless’ track Villanelle has more of a crazed edge to it, befitting of a show about a woman paid to kill people. Giving us distorted fuzz guitars and husky, deep vocals that more chant than sing, it belies its dream-pop aura to show that all is not fine underneath the surface. The strings coming in at the end further reinforce this, with the sweetness that entails going against the slightly deranged edge to it all, perfectly reflecting its source material of someone who has to hide their murderous double-life.
Cloud Tangle’s Eve comes at it from a different direction. It seems less tongue in cheek, with the echo in the arrangement and languid vocal style seeming drugged up and half asleep throughout. There’s more psychological depth and less of the simple thrills in the life of a serial killer like Fingerless go for. The descending refrain of “I can’t let you go“ floats passively towards the end. It’s ghostly and almost half-dead, atmosphere and dramatics going hand-in-hand as some of the biggest strengths on display here.
The instrumentation feels a bit kitsch. Fairground organ-style chords start it all off, sounding like some MIDI keyboard arrangement. It seems almost ironic, the child-like chimes that appear in the instrumental helping spell out a message of unnerving sweetness in a world turned upside down. Surreal it is, but considering its source material, it hasn’t even got itself started yet in terms of how far it could go in that direction.
If you happen to like Killing Eve then I’m guessing you’ll like this. Show or no show, it’s good music, managing to be both enticing and seductive at the same time. They’ve used the show to make something cinematic and evocative; dark and surreal, but it’s not so programmatic as to spell out all the answers for us. There’s mystery too, so give it a listen; try to find out for yourself what it’s all about.