Practically everything about New Look suggests a level of cool that’s so hip it has to be a spoof. The living in Berlin and Brooklyn; tonight’s questionably ironic shirt of programmer Adam Pavao; the obligatory, wibbly projections that come with boy/girl electronic duos; the keyboard around singer Sarah Ruba’s neck; the two guys in the audience wearing orange rimmed sunglasses on the coldest night of the year – it all makes you think that a Speak & Spell solo isn’t out of the question. It turns out, though, that the Canadian-born twosome are in fact as cool at their affectations would have us believe. More than that, their dub pop is so sexy it overloads the sound system.
“Oh my God!” exclaims Ruba as one song suddenly dies with a fizz, “What was that?! Damn, it’s too hot and dewy and sexy in here. That’s what’s happened.” She might be right – New Look were playing (and soon continue to play) some steamy electronic jamz, the kind that warrant a sexy z on the end. The projections are pretty pointless, and Pavao doesn’t seem to be doing too much himself, but Ruba is a star, and especially on the slower, ’90s RnB-tinged tracks, the pair come across like a halfway house between bonkers rave trio Teeth and The xx. Your disco has never felt so steamy.
By Stuart Stubbs
Originally published in issue 35 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. March 2012