Release Date: Apr 13, 2015
Record label: Kitsuné
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Indie Pop, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival
Due to an enthusiastic exclamation mark, British band Citizens! must be an editor’s worst nightmare, but as they’re signed to Parisian fashion house/label Kitsuné, this type of statement in typography is probably not just tolerated but actively encouraged. So be it (and now, coming up for grammatologists, we encounter an issue as to where to put a possessive apostrophe). Citizens!’ second album European Soul is billed as a “collection of contagiously exalting tracks that break with the economic, political and social angst felt in today’s world.
Leaving aside the fact that they pissed-off autocorrect software worldwide, Citizens! made quite the welcome entrance onto the indie-pop scene in 2012. With their band-name exclamation to fellow people and their heartfelt expressions of modern-day romances, their debut LP whipped-up neon scoops of excitement like a rainbow Mr. Whippy. It has to be said, however, that it was a touch one-dimensional; elements of it felt claustrophobic, possibly caused by the tight-knit production of indie-wizard Alex Kapranos.
Starting with the demo that convinced Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos to produce their debut record, Citizens! have always operated in the slightly seamier corners of pop. On “(I’m In Love With Your) Girlfriend” from that first LP – 2012’s Here We Are - even Tom Burke’s saccharine-sweet voice can’t atone for the sleaze behind lines like: “I’m in love with your girlfriend/I took her number from your phone.” The music might be sugary enough to give you diabetes but you’ll probably die of a broken heart anyway. This time around the London fivesome have dialled down the pickup artistry but pumped up the volume.