Monday 2 December 2013

Aiden - Aiden EP

While more recent contestants are struggling with epic PR disasters (I'm looking at you James Arthur), X Factor 2010's Aiden Grimshaw has been simmering beneath the pop surface ready to pounce.  He's yet to have a true breakthrough single, but he's edging closer with every release.

His 2012 debut album 'Misty Eye' was a pleasant surprise, with lead single Is This Love setting up a template of emo lyrics and dramatic, drum and bass tinged production.  There was even a beautiful cover of Sia's Breathe Me.

For his latest EP, he's now dropped the surname to be known purely as Aiden (perhaps a little prematurely - he's not quite at Madonna or Beyoncé status yet), but he's still been writing with some top pop talent - namely Dimitri Tikovoi, who's worked with the likes of Nicola Roberts, Charli XCX, Goldfrapp, The Horrors, Paloma Faith and more.

The 'Aiden EP' isn't quite the fresh start that his name change suggests, instead continuing and refining the dark electronic feel of his previous material.  It's an EP that gets progressively better, leading up to fourth track Better Man - a huge club banger with a falsetto chorus hook ("I just wanna be close to you").  Working backwards, there's the squelching bass of Fire & Ice, the robotic vocals and funkier feel of The Cleaner, and opening track Satisfy Me that stands out purely for its sweary lyrics ("are you gonna fuck your stupid mind?") that fails to shock.

It all amounts to an EP of electro-pop that's as different, quirky and mildly gothic as that cover of Mad World.  What it lacks is a truly killer pop track to smack the mainstream square in the forehead (Better Man comes close), but you get the impression Aiden isn't interested in chart success.  Regardless, he's definitely on the cusp of something great.


Listen: The 'Aiden EP' is available now.