Otherworldly, alienating synth pop
Initially, when starting the synth pop outfit, Dinner, former Choir of Young Believers member and Danish producer, Andres Rhedin, did not want to sing the songs he had written. Rhedin only wanted to create the dark, shimmering sound escapes that bleed all over Three EPs, 2012-2014. He finally conceded, however, and the voice that lays over all the songs is best described by the singer himself: “It’s like a magic ritual, and you want to conjure up or manifest some spirit entity that’s out there, some daemon, some angel, some guiding force or whatever it is that you want to call it…so it’s out there in the cosmos.”
To say that Dinner’s music is otherworldly would be an understatement. At times, it is so dark and moody that you wonder how it is even classified as synth pop. As is the case with the fifth track, “Overtake,” which is laced with sparse drums that sound like footsteps on stairs becoming increasingly layered as the song goes on, and the ominous screams of a mysterious woman. And yet, somehow, it is catchy. The synths wash over the track and you almost forget that what Rhedin is singing about is inner turmoil, as he laments that he “can’t feel anything at all.” Maybe that is what a good pop song arrangement is supposed to do—make you forget the sadness even when it’s facing you.
So, there is a dark and peculiar melancholy that permeates throughout the entire album, which is best shown on, “Dawn Is Here.” The fourth track on the album has a strange romanticism, as the main instrumentation is an acoustic guitar with the warbled synthesizer and a vocal effect that makes it sound as though an alien is singing a love song to its human girlfriend. A very romantic love song at that, as Rhedin muses, “you lean your head on my shoulder / say you like this party / the dawn is here.” It is the kind of song you could drive to at midnight.
Then there are the cool slick baselines, like the one on, “Girl.” And yet, despite all this, the album still feels devoid of emotion at times. As though the demon that Rhedin had to summon to sing took all of the soul and the emotion out of the recording. It is interesting sonically, but does sonic originality really mean anything if it doesn’t make you feel?