Pulse is a band that is based between Sheffield, UK and Athens, Greece. Predominantly a rock band, the collective of Alex Stamatiades (vocals, guitar, songwriting, production), Varvara Papazoglou (Drums, Keys), and Theodore Kontonis (bass, guitar, arrangement), make music spanning electronica to alternative and hard rock. The band’s songs usually center on topics such as nonconformity and altruism. Their latest single release, “Fleeing Leaves” was inspired by the desperate Syrian situation and its bulging refugee crisis. The track is supported by a video clip that features an award winning animation by Eirini Vianelli (Best Animation Award at Athens International Film Festival 2016), which is inspired by the poem of G. Seferis “leaf of the poplar”. The track was mixed at 2Fly Studios by Alan Smyth, who has also produced and mixed bands such as the Arctic Monkeys and Pulp.
There is really nobody else that sounds like Pulse that I can think of. “Fleeing Leaves” has a fuzzy, warm, nostalgic feel of a 70’s film soundtrack, with a heavy beat and an almost industrial edge.
This track is haunting, melodic, yet disturbing and it will stick with you for a long time. Sometimes with instrumental music a song can blend together easily in your mind or be totally indistinguishable, this doesn’t happen here. I think it’s fair to say that as human beings, we like to take journeys. We like to go places. Ever since humans could look up at the stars and do whatever they did, we’ve liked to go places.
Music can take you places. But I’ve heard people say that they mostly listen to music as passive observers, maybe tapping their feet, maybe humming along, but they’ve never closed their eyes and let a tear roll down their cheek: or been immersed in a recording. They’ve never been taken somewhere by music, on a journey through sound. Well “Fleeing Leaves” does that.
Listening to Pulse on this track is like looking back at the memories of the past and seeing things that scared you, looking back at childhood in a hazy vision of the forgotten past. It’s an intensely layered kind of electronic music that shakes your headphones and takes hold of your mind; it’s one of those tracks that bleed profusely into your soul, where you become numb with thought.
Images that are fragmented are swept in and out of focus in our mind’s eye, faces appear shimmery, and frightening shadows are everywhere as the heavy drums steadily beat. What ties “Fleeing Leaves” together is not just the creeping tension or menace; it’s the hope of its musical narrative which is mixed in with the insecurity and confusion of an unknown journey.
Like a puzzle that never gives up its answers but begs you to keep attempting a solution, every idea present on this track is fully realized as a foundation to finding the answers within ourselves. “Fleeing Leaves” influences are obvious yet it sounds like nothing that’s come before or since.