Release Date: Mar 18, 2014
Record label: Darup Associates
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Alternative Dance
With its gently soulful guitar riff, pulsing Eurodisco rhythm, and catchy, emotive chorus, “The Morning” sounds like one of the best songs of the young year. It’s the most immediate track on Dreams, but far from the end of the story. Whomadewho haven’t overhauled their sophisticated sound. They have, however, refined it to a hugely satisfying degree.
Danish disco-punks WhoMadeWho are one of Europe's most underrated bands. In the past ten years, they've amassed a back catalogue of emotional resonance and rare musical zip. Anchored by the dance floor nous of DJ, producer and drummer Tomas Barfod, the trio combine individual histories in jazz, classical and rock as well as electronic music to produce bittersweet indie-dance tracks of deceptive complexity.
Maybe no one was even looking for it before, but on their fifth studio effort Copenhagen-based group WhoMadeWho find the missing link between Hot Chip and Miike Snow and master the genre of smart Pop (small "s" and upper-case "P"). Newcomers who have always heard they fit in with the "experimental pop" crowd might find this one "quirky" at best, because as the opening title track displays, the music here is designed to support sweet and earnest lyrics like "Souls, are made of love and energy/Like a raindrop, or a snowball" and with none of that "art song" prickliness. Actually, "Another Day" rocks in a style so soft and neo-'70s that it could be be the Euroboat version of yacht rock, while "Hiding in Darkness" wears the "handclap" button off the drum machine and winds up sounding both very chic and very Chic.
Copenhagen trio WhoMadeWho have been making crisp electronic pop for notable labels such as Gomma and Kompakt for the past decade. This time, on their own label, they’ve turned up the guitars which have in turn changed their approach to songwriting, now the electronics augment their pop leanings; it’s a change which on the whole works. As shown on their 2012 Kompakt release, Below The Cherry Moon, WhoMadeWho operate best when they calm down a little, using an introspective approach suits them well, Dreams has several moments of this appealingly sad disco; the title track and “Right Track” are enticing mid-tempo 80?s tinged pop, subtle guitar chimes and warm synth work, like Tears For Fears without the pretensions of greatness with nagging earworm choruses that won’t let up.
The Copenhagen 3-piece WhoMadeWho open their fifth album, Dreams, with a pair of über-saccharine songs, each a kind of lyrical equivalent of the "Bound 2" video’s backdrop, dispensed without a hint of irony. “There’s a heart that beats inside of me,” the group sings on the title track’s opening couplet. “Where the time flies, and the stars shine.” The songs are artfully composed, and after a couple of listens, they lodge in your head and stay there.