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Prep unveil new EP titled Cold Fire, playing London gig in May

by Khyle Deen. Published Sun 22 Apr 2018 13:30

PREP will release their new EP ‘Cold Fire’ on May 4 2018, the follow-up to their debut EP release, 2016’s ‘Futures’, which generated 4 Hype Machine hits, an AlunaGeorge remix and radio plays across Radio, 1Xtra and Beats 1, with over 7 million streams online.

That release also lead to PREP coming onboard to remix the Snakehips, Chance The Rapper & Tinashe smash ‘All My Friends’. PREP will headline London Oslo on May 5, 2018.

‘Cold Fire’’s taut, instantly immersive title track features both a guest spot from Kaytranada-approved producer Pomo (also featured on Anderson .Paak’s ‘Malibu’) and a co-vocal from Korean megastar DEAN, a driving force behind PREP’s own hothoused success in Asia, where gigs are more-often-than-not the scene of hundreds of people, phones aloft, singing every word of the ‘Futures’ EP.

A single Instagram story about PREP from an enthused DEAN saw the band’s fanbase explode across Korea and Japan, where their aesthetic was already fast connecting with aficionados of the cult Japanese genre of ‘City Pop’, itself a re-interpretation of West Coast soft rock. ‘Cold Fire’ steps up from ‘Futures’ in more literal senses also, with pacey lead single ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ shedding some of the woozier grooves of their debut in favour of an irresistibly brisk BPM, buoyed along by crisp handclaps beneath the nervy energy of frontman Tom Havelock’s vocal.

There’s a similar sleight of hand at play on EP-closer ‘Rachel’, with Havelock’s rueful lyrics caught between horn breaks and a gloriously unapologetic flute solo. ‘Cold Fire’ also features fast-rising, Kitsuné-signed U.S. singer Reva DeVito, who sought the band out herself in search of a collaboration - the result is the cautionary ‘Snake Oil’, which the band themselves see as a ‘distant cousin’ of sorts to ‘Future’’s ‘Sunburnt Through The Glass’.

PREP originally came about as a placeholder alias for 4 London based-artists with an eye-watering list of credits under their belts.

Co-writer and keyboard player Llywelyn Ap Myrddin - already enjoying success as a classical & opera composer with a predilection for electronic music - began working up instrumentals with drummer Guillaume Jambel, who - under the GIOM moniker - by day (or rather, by night) has headlined Fabric and Privilege, collaborated with Joey Negro and Defected Records and toured with George Fitzgerald. Llywelyn was completely thrown by the response to some of these tracks from Grammy nominee Dan Radclyffe, noted for his work on recordings by the likes of Drake and AlunaGeorge. “I played him this instrumental, and Dan said, ‘Well that’s quite Yacht Rock, isn’t it?’ And I was like ‘What on earth is Yacht Rock?’” Sensing nonetheless the foundations of a shared musical DNA, Myrddin, Jambel and Radclyffe began to dedicate serious moonlight hours to the new joint venture.

PREP’s line-up was quickly solidified by singer Tom Havelock, friendly with Radclyffe from co-writing on numerous projects including Riton, Sinead Hartnett and Ray BLK.

Havelock’s effortless falsetto top line - immediately apparent as the perfect foil to the band’s airtight grooves - completed ‘Cheapest Flight’ (one of ‘Futures’’ most immediate hits), in the space of the band’s first rehearsal. Havelock - keen to pursue different facets of his own vocal honed during co-writing projects - experienced a similar lightning bolt moment to Myrddin; “When I listened to those instrumentals the other 3 had written, it was like all those Steely Dan records that didn’t quite get through to me when I was a teenager suddenly came into sharp focus. Those complex, often really quite melancholy lyrics, wrapped up in these very smooth tracks - I could hear straight away what I wanted to sing.”

From its irrepressible opening moments right through to the EP's vivid, arresting artwork which draws you straight into PREP’s sun-speckled world, ‘Cold Fire’ pops and fizzes with the breezy joy of its own creation.

‘Cold Fire’ EP
1. Cold Fire
2. Snake Oil
3. Don’t Bring Me Down
4. Rachel

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