The new album, Signs, marks the triumphant return of leftfield electronic band Ikon. A mixture of dubby electronica and blissful vocals this promises to put them on a par with their major label contemporaries. Rewind 3 years and everything is going right for the band. Their single "The Dove" is being championed by daytime radio DJ's , festival shows are booked and they are being mentioned in the same sentences as Air & Royksopp - so what happened next?
"Basically we weren't really ready to go out and slog it round the live circuit" says Elliot Ireland from the band "The people we worked with on the first album were friends of ours that lived in Ibiza, Berlin and other even further flung parts of the world - it was really stressful getting everyone together and rehearsed for gigs and it just meant too much time out of the studio - in the end we did a few major gigs like The Big Chill and a Radio 1 showcase but turned down the rest to concentrate on studio projects. Myself and Alex are also in Skeewiff and we had an album of that material to finish for release. We just ended up concentrating on other projects till last year when Alex, Trevor and myself sat down to plan out the new album."
The album kicks off with "No reason to stay" one of two tracks vocalled by seasoned soul singer Dee Ellington. "We had a lot of fun in the studio with Dee - she's a lot of fun to be around and has a really distinctive sound to her vocals" says Trevor Mac "We also worked on two tracks with Ian Britt whose album we released a couple of years ago and there is a definite element of that folk singer-songwriter sensibility to the album. Dirty Girl is more about us shaping him to the IKON sound and Out of Our hands is him bending us back the other way. They seem to work really well together on the same album. The album finishes on a really stripped back acoustic track sung by Kirsty Hawkshaw - it's great that Kirsty is on this album as her vocal was one of the highlights of the first one"
The album is a real mixture of songs and soundscapes. "We do a lot of music for film and I think that shows in tracks like "Kill Tremolo" says Elliot. It's all about creating a mood while keeping everything moving forward. Kill Tremolo started life as an instrumental but was missing something so I got in touch with a friend called Swati who sings with Nitin Sawhney and she added a vocal that is really subtle but brings out what's special in the track.