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Miike Snow - Miike Snow

Miike Snow, Miike Snow

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

MIIKE Snow’s eponymous debut album is one of the better pop records of the year. It’s fun, different enough to be notable and pretty diverse to boot.

Comprised of three members, Miike Snow is made up of Swedish duo Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, who have written and produced under the Bloodshy & Avant moniker, delivering hits for Kylie, Madonna, Sugababes and Britney Spears (Toxic), as well as US songwriter Andrew Wyatt, who has his own assist on Daniel Merriweather’s excellent debut album.

That combined ear for a strong mainstream hit with crossover appeal is evident throughout the album, which mixes electronics with plenty of lush melodies and soulful vocals.

The former single Animal kicks things off in breezy, familiar fashion and puts you in the good mood you’re barely likely to leave throughout.

Burial, meanwhile, sets glockenspiel-sounding electronics over marching band-style drum loops and some dark lyrics that contemplate death and the end of things. It’s an alluring mix and one that can be enjoyed on many levels.

The starker piano sound on Silvia enters ballad territory, moving further away from the Scandinavian reverb of the opening two tracks (think Lykke Li and co), into the type of emotive songwriting of Merriweather and Coldplay. The swirling synths that eventually reverberate around the background are a nice touch, too, ensuring that this doesn’t merely conform to bog-standard ballad format, but does something distinct as well.

Elsewhere, the playful guitar licks that accompany the foot-shuffle of Song For No One are disarmingly effective and breezily infectious (complete with falsetto vocals), and Black & Blue even dares to approach the type of euphoric vocal approach of bands like Scissor Sisters and Passion Pit.

A Horse Is Not A Home, meanwhile, drops a more atmospheric, edgy synth pulse to compliment the edgier vocal approach, while Plastic Jungle opts for glam rock and sleaziness to add some darker sexiness.

There’s a Kraftwerk vibe surrounding the Autobahn-esque In Search Of, which flirts with the rave scene just as seductively, while Faker ushers the album to a close with a real slow-burning comedown effort that provides plenty of pause for thought (complete with an almost Beatles-esque chorus melody).

Interestingly, Miike Snow was recorded in the 400-year-old home used to house King Gustaf III’s mistress… but from such a historic environment comes an LP that’s both fresh and timeless.

Download picks: Animal, Burial, Song For No One, Silvia, Faker, In Search Of

Track listing:

  1. Animal
  2. Burial
  3. Silvia
  4. Song for No One
  5. Black & Blue
  6. Sans Soleil
  7. A Horse Is Not a Home
  8. Cult Logic
  9. Plastic Jungle
  10. In Search Of
  11. Faker