Out of Touch in the Wild
Apr 09, 2013 Issue #45 - Winter 2013 - Phoenix
Could it be that after an era of being shamed by America and France in particular, English pop music has finally got its act together? Following the likes of Egyptian Hip Hop, Alt-J, and Wild Beasts, Marple, England's Dutch Uncles seem to be spoiling their fellow countrymen with another serving of eminently enjoyable yet intelligent electronic pop.
With its fragile vocals and keys/synthesized strings backdrop, Out of Touch in the Wild often nods toward DFA alumni such as Hot Chip, but has a sparseness that allows the songs to breathe and relax while still being danceable. Clearly, the risk of muddling things through overwork in the studio has been commendably avoided. Closer "Brio" best exemplifies the ominous-but-light nature of the record, with neat time signatures, Krautrockish drones, and soul-searching melodies. There's always an ominous atmosphere to Dutch Uncles, albeit never an unpleasant one.
Out of Touch in the Wild starts to get a bit samey toward the end of the album, and some tracks sound slightly forced compared to the languid nature of those on the first half. Nonetheless, it's a very fine pop record and a nice suggestion as to the way England's pop scene could be heading. (www.dutchuncles.co.uk)
Author rating: 7.5/10
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