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Page last updated at 10:21 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009
Introducing...The Invisible

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

The Prince-adoring warp-pop triangle from London with a super-human knack for writing hypnotic songs. No wonder they're being touted as Britain's answer to TV On The Radio.

The Invisible [L-R]: Tom Herbert, Dave Okumu and Leo Taylor

Dear Science, the third outing from Williamsburg's TV On The Radio, finally brought the experimental pop band to the world's wider attention last year.

It took almost a decade but it's a slow-simmering story not dissimilar to that of London's own The Invisible.

Although as a band they've only been playing together since 2006 - glued together by mutual friend Matthew Herbert [boss of indie label du jour Accidental and producer of their album] - the threesome have been playing for some years slogging in previous projects Jade Fox, Gramme and Acoustic Ladyland.

However, after forming pieces in other people's jigsaws, they're now ready to bathe in their self-produced limelight.

Musical statement

"We were all at a point where we just wanted to make our own statement and make our own music," explains Vienna-born guitarist and vocalist Dave Okumu of the band's roots.

"We all wanted the same thing - to create a platform for our own thing and become recording artists in our own right."

The Invisible, the facts
WHAT: Glassy-eyed hazy dance-pop
FOR FANS OF: Hot Chip, !!!, Animal Collective, Prince, TV On The Radio
DOWNLOAD: London Girl
LIVE: UK dates throughout February

The pyramid is completed by Tom Herbert [bassist/vocals] and Leo Taylor [drums] - creating a band versed in both experience and experimentalism.

"It's actually just such a crazy patch work," laughs Okumu. "If we put together all of the different things we've done we'd probably be sent away to a musical asylum far away.

"Leo and I were both on Roisin Murphy's last record, I've played with Amy [Winehouse] a few times, I've toured with her a little bit…"

Meanwhile Tom's spent a decade playing with once-Mercury nominated jazz outfit Polar Bear.

"We're pouring everything we can into this band though," asserts Okumu.

Indeed, now it appears, is The Invisible's turn.

Band beginnings

Sidelining their various commitments, the band began originally as a solo project for Okumu working with production whizz Matthew Herbert.

However soon, via sessions, they transformed into a fully fledged unit.

"There was a stage where we were going to be called Erotic Johnson," jokes Okumu.

Prince is kind of super human in a way he's so prolific and he can play so many instruments so well
Tom Herbert, The Invisible
"[It] came from that fact we'd just been listening to one of our favourite tracks - Erotic City the Prince tune. Somehow we started talking about Antony And The Johnsons."

Instead The Invisible settled upon a name inspired by writer John Donahue.

Their chemistry has now given birth to a self-titled debut album, due out on 3 March.

"We all share a love of experimentation. There's still that attitude of existing in the moment of taking chances and risks," enthuses Okumu.

"Before you know it you've end up with a unique multi-headed beast.

"That's the thing I'm most proud of, it really feels like a record only we could have made."

London girl

Knitted with tribal beats, knotted textures and twilight lit guitars their debut is a smouldering, hazy offering that's both deep and dark.

"I feel I'm sort of stuck in a loop just in terms of what's important to me," ponders Okumu.

"There's a track on the album that definitely comes from a dream I had when I was about eight years old - I had this dream in the middle of the winter about the whole wide world melting."

Smouldering first single London Girl has already captured the imagination of critics, fans and bands [Foals] alike.

It has already received favourable comparisons to Hot Chip, Antony Hegarty and, of course, Brooklyn's most heralded.

The Invisible
The trio have been playing for some years in previous projects

"I don't think it could ever grate being compared to a band like TV On The Radio," says Herbert. "We're really lucky that people have compared us to that band. It could have been Simply Red or Pussycat Dolls."

But it's comparisons to their hero Prince - the intricate yet accessible nature of their sound - that's most humbling the group.

"You know so much about him but yet so little," froths Herbert. "He's kind of super human in a way he's so prolific and he can play so many instruments so well."

"It's almost not right the extent of his brilliance," adds Okumu. "He must have some button which adds a few hours onto each day. I want to know what that secret is - I'll come with you if we're both invisible. Let's go to Paisley Park and check out Prince…"

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