When an enigmatic female artist known only as Steve comes your way you know you’re likely to hear something subversive, and that’s exactly what ‘Two Point Nearly Zero’ is. With Trent Reznor-inflected production as industrial as the soviet style cover art, the track slots somewhere in the sweet spot between bubblegum-pop, art-installation experimentalism and lights-out dance rock.
The manic and twisted vocals owe as much to Charlie XCX and Marina and the Diamonds as they do to Bjork or Grimes in that whilst they are intentionally and disconcertingly off-kilter they remain infectious and drive the song through to its subtle but heady climax.
‘Two Point Nearly Zero’ is the second single to be taken from Steve’s forthcoming EP ‘Danger! High Failure Rate’, which is the first release on Snug Platters, a new label set up by Elbow’s Guy Garvey and Fiction Record’s Jim Chancellor. You can understand their attraction for sure as ‘TPNZ’ bears a fair amount common with the art-punk howl of former Fiction roster-members Crystal Castles or Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Perhaps the most telling line of the song, highlighting the eerie not-quite-there nature of Steve in the face of what is by all accounts a body double of a pop-song, is the prematurely-clipped and repeated refrain at the end: ‘Get into to the side, get into to the back, stand between the tour-bus, you know you’re going to cr-‘.
All the aspects we recognise and expect from a track like this are here, yet things still feel not quite what they seem.
Tip by Bill Cummings from God is in the TV Zine
Generator North East, The Manse, Kingsland Church Studios, Priory Green, Byker, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE6 2DW
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