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WhoMadeWho – Brighter

Album review

A disco-infused alt pop album. Doesn’t sound like something which really fits in with the current zeitgeist, gone are the days when a new Rapture release would be the biggest thing ever. We’re in a world where The Black Keys are famous; the idea that a downright fun, funky album sounding o-k doesn’t sound right in the early days of 2012. Somehow though, WhoMadeWho, the Danish three piece with a religious European following, have made an album which not only sounds pretty fresh, more interesting than a blasé first listen might suggest, but also is actually just pretty enjoyable. Heaven forbid.

The record is half melancholic, drowsy electronica, ‘Running Man’ and ‘Fireman’ especially lean towards the driving mellow techno which Kompakt as a label has been leaning towards quite heavily to in recent times. And then, of course, there’s the driving dance, ready for the floor, tunes of ‘Inside World’, ‘The Sun’ and ‘Never Had The Time’. Big, euphoric, and have no guilt whatsoever in their ability to create an undeniable groove.

It’s the final track, ‘Below The Cherry Moon’, a six minute epic, which is the highlight of the album. Combining the schizophrenic sides of the band with a hint of experimentation and a growling crescendo of synths and harmonies. And that’s that, an early highlight of the 2012 is essentially a dance pop album. Who’d have thought it.

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Whsitle Peak - Half Asleep Upon Echo Falls

Whsitle Peak - Half Asleep Upon Echo Falls
The fact that the vinly version of this album comes in the teal coloured isn't much of a surprise, the dreamy, mellow look of the colour fits with Whistle Peak's lo-fi, melodic approach. Second track 'Hurry Hurry' has the woozy atmosphere of a bar jam taking place after numerous whiskeys through the fog of cigarette smoke. There's a kind of Elbow-esque crescendoing to the tracks, in the same vein as Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear. There's plenty of melancholy too; broken hearted, intimate acoustic numbers strike a chord with the grim, grey days of a British winter (although the band themselves come from Louisville, Kentucky). I'm not normally too into the nu-folk-revivalist movement which seems to have broken through over the past couple of years, but there's an honesty of 'Half Asleep Upon Echo Falls' which breaks through any possibly lazy comparisons and makes it an indie release well worth seeking out.
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