New band of the day: Seye (No 1,237)

Eyes down for another strand of the 80s revival – this time, it's the sound of Sledgehammer-era Peter Gabriel courtesy of a talented Bromley boy

Hometown: Bromley.

The lineup: Seye Adelekan (vocals, guitar).

The background: Seye, like the excellent Kwes, is a former backroom boy now stepping into the limelight. He has been the guitarist for Paloma Faith, Ellie Goulding and the Noisettes, and collaborated with the Very Best, whose Afrotronic pop is, of all the musicians Seye has worked with, the most like his. It's not very much like Paloma Faith's, put it that way. Then again, he's toured with Lana Del Rey and he's supporting Emeli Sandé in April and he's not much like them either – although, having said that, the impression he's giving is that he could turn his hand to most any style of music he wants. Along with his own hi-tech highlife pop, he is becoming known for stripped-down acoustic versions of other people's songs that render them virtually unrecognisable from the originals. In his hands, Bat for Lashes' Daniel, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs' Garden and Metronomy's The Bay all have the jaunty whimsicality of ditties by ancient folkie Donovan.

Actually, the Nigerian-born Seye is the brother of the bassist from Metronomy, Olugbenga Adelekan, so he's kind of allowed to do what he fancies with Metronomy songs – what's his brother going to do, sue him? Olugbenga has returned the favour by remixing Seye's debut single White Noise, which (and hence, presumably, the Del Rey support slot) is being released on the label that brought the world Video Games. It has an urgent, hurtling pace, frantic handclaps, Auto-Tuned vocals, an electro-tribal rhythm and a smidgeon of grime. In a way, he's like a younger, cooler Paul Simon around the time of his African adventure or Peter Gabriel circa So, when he used world music techniques and textures in a pop context. Simple Sum, one of the other tracks we've heard, is crisp, light techno-pop, with a groove that goes some way towards justifying advance claims that he's a Fela Kuti for Rinse kids. J.O.A.N.N.A. is more explicitly African, a Vampire Weekendish indie take on worldbeat. Running Away – not the Sly Stone song – is infectious funk-lite, suggesting Seye's a fan of Sledgehammer and 80s MTV pop in general. Mexicana Bounce has elements of Paul Simon and Prince. He's clearly a talented boy, as varied as you'd like, evincing a penchant for pursuing all sorts of directions. He's exactly what any omnivorous modern music listener would want from a solo artist, even if, as far as his record company are concerned, his inability to find a single focus might make him a 'mare to market.

The buzz: "Fela Kuti for the Rinse generation" – NME.

The truth: He's the mid-80s Peter Gabriel reborn.

Most likely to: Make the Bhundu Boys as hip as the Beach Boys.

Least likely to: Make an album of white noise.

What to buy: White Noise is released by Stranger on 15 April.

File next to: Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, Prince, D'Banj.


Wednesday's new band: Violet.


Paul Lester

The GuardianTramp

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