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“Scandinavian electronic pop-noire”
In the Swedish tradition of perfect pop music, Niki & The Dove have produced a chart-worthy album of tenderhearted electronica anthems. Instinct is the full-length debut of Stockholm’s Malin Dahlström and Gustaf Karlöf. With a solidly pop approach to making soulful, dynamic music, it’s hard to believe this is only the first full-length effort from the duo.
The 14-song LP is almost entirely synth-driven, with programmed beats and a smattering of heavily-layered live drums. The lyrics are one of the band’s strongpoints. The heartfelt “Tomorrow” and “Last Night” are reminiscent of Kate Bush’s hopeful sweetness, while Dahlström’s vocal style bears a strong resemblance to both the witchy melancholy and sentimental sting of Stevie Nicks. The third track, “In Your Eyes,” could easily be imagined as 2012’s EDM answer to “Gold Dust Woman.” Their standout track and first single, “DJ, Ease My Mind,” captures the energy and euphoria of electronic dance music, while “The Fox” is much darker, featuring gritty programming and droning, distorted cello but with their signature chorus of stirring, layered vocals and powerhouse percussion. Instinct is definitely a tribute to Sweden’s already impressive history of extremely catchy, yet thoughtful and affecting pop music.
Produced and Mixed by Elof Loelv