Wonder Down Under
The influx of young musicians emulating the quirky pop of David Byrne has made its mark in the indie spectrum, but there are a quite a few groups that have been doing it for years. Architecture in Helsinki’s past releases have been a testament to such pop, but their latest release, Moment Bends, dampens the world beats, playful chanting and everything unique to this Aussie outfit’s early catalog.
Of course, that’s not to say the more “controlled” environment doesn’t have its pluses. Songs like “Contact High” and “Wow” are radio-ready with singled-out vocals instead of shouty gang choruses. This works in favor of texture and climax and, at times, resembles a couple cuts off of Robyn’s Body Talk.
Halfway through the album, tracks like “That Beep” and “Denial Style” showcase the band’s new synth leanings, almost like the Tom Tom Club to their previous work’s Talking Heads. The playful vocals have returned but in a subtle, subdued way. Maturing are we? Hopefully, not.
“I Know Deep Down” is an odd (yet delightful) mix of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and a funkier bassline. It’s undeniably the track that sums up the record’s attempt at drifting from twee-like chaos and moving on to simpler, more focused melodies.
After ten years, it’s hard to say Architecture in Helsinki will, again, start producing the fuller, more “sunshine” pop we’ve become used to. It’s just good to know the sense of songwriting and melody hasn’t dwindled. Moment Bends only proves the group has a touch of dynamic in their future.