Synth pop with a safe-word
Rostram Batmanglij and Wes Miles (from Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot respectively), make a ‘kerrazy’ synth fest of an album which repeatedly stops to check if you’re okay. It’s essentially a wonky but clever pop album with reggae breaks, occasionally R‘n’B experiments, and contributions from Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig and The Dirty Projectors’ Angel Deradoorian. It’s filled with snappy snare sounds, vintage synth sounds, satirically vocodered/autotuned vocals and smart lyrics which reference self-googling and the ‘circle of fifths’ (that’s music theory folks). Melodically it sounds very like Vampire Weekend. It’s good, but it feels a little too thought-through and restrained to really make a big impact. Even the wonky, off-key, breakdowny bits are wonky and off-key in a well-composed, musically-literate, well-supervised and consent-checking way.
Key Track: ‘I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend’