The Ting Tings
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The Ting Tings

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Manchester, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
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Press


"The Ting Tings’ New Video Is the Latest Sad Pop Song With a Killer Dance Routine"

The band behind "Shut Up and Let Me Go" gets their boogie on

Nope, that’s not Helena from Orphan Black reenacting the breakdown from Britney Spears’ “Toxic” video — it’s British duo and Apple ad alumni the Ting Tings suffering from Saturday-night fever in the video for “Wrong Club,” a track from their forthcoming third album.

In “Wrong Club,” frontwoman Katie White sings about getting stuck in a rut while busting out moves that recall recent down-in-the-dumps work from other pop stars. For the 2011 warehouse romp “Call Your Girlfriend,” Robyn rolled out ground-humping somersaults and let elbows fly as she got caught up in a heartbreaking love triangle; for this year’s “Chandelier,” the elusive Sia recruited Dance Moms‘ Maddie Ziegler for some interpretive dance set to a track about drowning your sorrows in alcohol.

“Wrong Club” isn’t quite as dramatic — it’s about “feeling like you don’t fit in,” the band says — but its equally striking choreography is another reminder that the best way to work through your issues may be to dance like nobody’s watching (preferably in a skin-tight black bodysuit). - Time Magazine


"Album: The Ting Tings, Sounds from Nowheresville (Columbia)"

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Sometimes, it takes a great deal of skill, intelligence and patience to make the simplest and most immediate of pop music.

Take The Ting Tings: what could be catchier than the playground chants of "That's Not My Name" and "Shut Up and Let Me Go"? Yet those apparently instant, supremely disposable pop anthems were arrived at through months of painstaking work, finding just the right beat with the momentum to drive the anthemic lyrics, and just the right melody to make them palatable over several plays, but without losing the spontaneity that snags one's attention in the first place.

That painstaking approach has been repeated for Sounds from Nowheresville, for which the duo reportedly recorded, then summarily scrapped, the better part of an album's worth of material, before relocating their entire operation to another country and recording an entirely new album. In these days of endless bonus tracks and myriad outtakes, that takes guts and dedication – but as this effervescent, infectious album proves, it's worth the trouble. These 10 tracks are a masterclass in modern pop creation, pinballing from style to style without endangering their essential "TingTingness". One moment they're riding the itchy electro twitch of "One by One", the next they're in lilting folk-rock mode for "Day to Day". On a completely different tack, the chimes and drum tattoo of "Hit Me Down Sonny" carry a deadpan rap like a skipping-song, while elsewhere "Soul Killing" relies on a creaking-chair effect as the subliminal cement binding its loping ska skank together. Indeed, Jules de Martino and Katie White have such wide-ranging musical taste, yet occupy none of the usual niche genres, that it's surprising they ever found airplay.

The album opens with "Silence" looming in like a dark cloud, demanding we "hold your talk now, and let them all listen to your silence", before building in depth and texture as it proceeds. It's a strange choice as opener, but it sets up the jaunty chant-grooves of "Hit Me Down Sonny", "Hang It Up" and "Give It Back" perfectly, their titles reflecting the assertive tenor of the lyrics. The declamatory handclap swagger of the latter, for instance, punches out lines reflecting the reproach of the recently betrayed: "Gimme back my hifi," commands White, "gimme back my boots", going on to add footnotes to "That's Not My Name" by demanding back her name, and ultimately her life.

The most striking piece here, however, is the ambitious "Guggenheim", which yokes a Shangri-Las-style spoken tale of teen jealousy – delivered with the naive, doll-like vacancy of Lana Del Rey – with an angry hip-hop refrain asserting the protagonist's determination that "this time I'm gonna get it right, I'm gonna paint my face at the Guggenheim". Quixotically imponderable, it carries just the right weight of spirited mystery: whatever our heroine means by it, it's clear her emancipation is driven by her intellect, as much as her emotions. Which is often what it takes to make great pop music, too. - The Independent


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

When they decided to decamp to Ibiza to record their third album Super Critical, Katie and Jules from the Ting Tings had a slight ‘uh-oh’ moment. ‘We’d been to Berlin to make the second record,’ says Jules, ‘and done nothing but get high and look at great architecture. Going to Ibiza had party written all over it. Obviously we were going to get nothing done.’ As it turned out, unleashing their party spirit was exactly the impetus and momentum needed to craft something special and true to the starting spirit of their musical adventures. The Ting Tings were born out of the night-time. They bonded at sun-up, wired in Salford warehouses. Success came as a surprising blind-side to them. Being in the middle of an island for the winter, having to make all their own fun? This is the stuff they excel at. 

Physically, Super Critical began in a rented Finca not far from the town of Santa Gertrudis. Emotionally, the starting point for the record was the touchstone glamour and twilit excess of 70s New York. Katie happened upon a picture that would come to foreshadow everything they locked into the record, of Diana Ross emerging from behind a curtain into the DJ booth at Studio 54. ‘Everything about her, the dress, the hair, the make-up, made her look like the most exotic and effortless creation,’ says Katie. ‘She was so glamorous, so of a moment, so not overdone. If we could get a sound even 5% close to what that picture was giving us, we knew we were onto something.’

First single Wrong Club spells its intent out in bold letters. Cut at a median cross-point of the Holy Grail of all crate-digging disco evangelism it taps its toe to Chic and Tom Tom Club without sacrificing any of the unique, angular noise the band had fashioned back in Salford, shouting diffidently along to an effects pedal. Ting Tings V.3.0 started to sound warm, woody, organic and original. Modernity had happened from looking backwards. Fashioning a record that was the direct antithesis of pilled-up, casually-clothed, wasted 4am gurners became a new mission statement for the band. ‘We found ourselves with something to say again,’ says Jules. 

Before arriving in Ibiza, The Ting Tings extricated themselves from their record label obligations. Their rented accommodation was owned by someone whose father-in-law was a famous printer, responsible for academies in Paris and New York. Her husband was a jazz musician. They found themselves drifting through the island’s established nightclub demimonde distractedly and decided to throw their own parties. On New Year’s Eve 2013 at 7am even the weathered stalwarts of the islands nightclub culture shook their hands as they left Pikes nightclub, thanking them for rejuvenating a spirit Ibiza had not seen since the openings of Pacha, before all that. This new found love of the night-time would echo around the Super Critical.  

Someone introduced them to Duran Duran’s stalwart guitarist Andy Taylor and he became a party alumnus, before bringing some of the magic he had commandeered in his old world-conquering phenomenon to studio sessions with Katie and Jules. They are notoriously resistant to working with outside interests. ‘Something happens between the two of us in the studio,’ says Jules ‘which is very hard to be around.’ They had been offered work as hitmakers for hire, for artists like David Guetta and Katy Perry. ‘It just doesn’t happen like that with us,’ says Katie. ‘The hits we’ve written have been happy accidents.’ Andy offered to help sift through some old demos. ‘He kept on telling us, there’s gold in here.’

Songs began emerging. ‘It felt like making a record while partying in your bedroom,’ says Jules, ‘which is pretty much exactly how we made the first album. In 9 months we became like family. It was a massive education for us. His old analogue approach, the studio set-ups he used in the 80s with Duran were perfect for the sound we were looking for. That approach isn’t around anymore. Studio people don’t know how to achieve it.’

Word began spreading about a newer, friendlier incarnation of The Ting Tings, one with a backbone of pure disco pizzazz. Offers were tabled from record labels. Katie and Jules were flown to LA on the back of one playback of Wrong Club. In the end, they booked a month at Avatar studios in New York and did the whole damn thing themselves. Their old manager is back on board. Supercritical is not just about Katie and Jules making a hook-stuffed, glowing, confrontational, warm, wordy and wonderful modern disco record. It was about finding out who they are again. About going away to come back home. ‘Where we are right now feels exactly where we should be,’ says Katie. ‘I feel like dressing up and going out again,’ says Jules. ‘And that feels perfect.’

Band Members