Most people have heard a Psapp song before and they don’t even realize it. The London-based electronic pop duo of Carim Clasmann and Galia Durant composed the main theme song to the popular medical drama TV show Grey’s Anatomy. But for What Makes Us Glow, Psapp’s fourth studio album, they take a more unique approach, compared to the theme song, and create an original alternative sound all their own—even if it required them to build their own instruments (which they did).
What Makes Us Glow gets your foot tapping twenty seconds into the album. The single “Wet Salt” begins the album—well, after the twenty-second opening track “Life Hums,” a series of sporadic clinks and other everyday noises—with an ’80s-esque keyboard riff that comfortably sticks to you. And the album continues to build wisely and engage easily until the final track.
“That’s The Spirit” will definitely make you feel like you’re at a freaky deranged carnival, like something out of a Goosebumps book. What sounds like a whistle being blown underwater leads the song amidst light tapping and scratching. Needless to say, awesome.
“What Makes Us Glow” is lyrically one of the more thought-provoking tracks: “I tried to remember who I was and all I’d nearly lost / All of the clatter of tested hearts / We are all these things we are/ Everyone has had this thought, and I will take no blame / We choose what makes us glow.” The song also features farm animal sounds and a harmonica, the perfect Psapp touch.
Whatever the four years apart did for Psapp before they recorded What Makes Us Glow, it worked. Clearly thousands of days of not practicing together didn’t do anything to hinder the chemistry Clasmann and Durant have with one another.