Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
Norwegian artist Sondre Lerche’s eighth album, Pleasure, is a notable style shift from his earlier works, delving into the ’80s and indie rock world. Having recently gone through a divorce, the album is soulfully lost in his past love.
The album opens with “Soft Feelings,” which enters in a New Order-style ’80s beat straight from “Bizarre Love Triangle.” Most of the tracks are in that ’80s synth-pop style, with the exceptions of the psych rock-induced “Violent Game,” which is guitar-centered and the longest track on the album at just over seven minutes, taking time at the end to extend into a jam session with wailing and screeching guitars. “I Know Something That’s Gonna Break Your Heart” is also stunning, reminiscent of Tame Impala, with lyrics that might break anyone’s heart, “I hate to tell you but I’m gonna fail you / tonight can never let us down / tomorrow will break your heart.”
Several of Pleasure‘s tracks are obviously derived from ’80s pop, including the synth-pop-led “I’m Always Watching You” and the indie dance song “Hello Stranger.” “Serenading In the Trenches” is punchy and upbeat with a funk-inspired chorus. The lyrics, “Do you want to pretend we’re dead / serenading in the trenches / do you want to make love instead,” imply that Lerche is seeking companionship for the night with a fellow griever. “Siamese Twin” is a true standout, with a dream-pop backdrop, unexpectedly beautiful melodies and ’80s pings scattered throughout. The chorus dips and distorts melancholically, but rises hopeful. It’s quite impeccably done.
“Are you dancing without me, dancing with tears in your eyes / reminisce,” Sondre Lerche sings in the driving “Reminisce.” By the time the listener arrives to this track, it’s pretty apparent what’s going on. Lerche is lost in the grief of his past love, and currently looking in all the wrong places in an attempt to self-medicate. The sadness really comes through at this point, his final soulful cry, “water under the bridge…Baby Come to Me.”