Robot Face – Caravan Palace

What a lovely album! A fusion of bopping electronic music and 20’s swing that just makes you want to grab a partner and dance. “Lone Digger” is the obvious standout, a beautiful shuffle track with a cool horn section and great jamming over the i-VIIb-VIb-V progression, but I was blown away by the way everything just perfectly comes together in “Tattoos”. The bass on “Wonda” is also memorable and the vocals on “Wonderland” are so beautifully raw and distinctive. The singles on this album work as really beautiful anthems, but I can just sink into the artsy synths and backing chords of the mostly instrumental “Human Leather Shoes and Crocodile Dandies”; the strings (and, later, fake strings) and clacking drums work really well to create a unique rhythm worth dancing to and an engaging dark harmonic palette, but the interesting development of the synths over that is just phenomenal, something I enjoy trying to understand. “Lay Down” is also incredible, and- oh, this is just a great album! Caravan Palace absolutely owns the electro swing genre with their trademark mix of 20’s instrumentation and beautiful electronic breakdowns. The number of times I’ve listened to these awesome tracks, and to some of their most recent album, including “Miracle” and “About You”, is quite frankly embarrassing, but this is just a great band. The vocals shift between ethereal and tough, the synths fit the 20’s aesthetic with their intensity in softness (they seem to build in a very non-modern way and I don’t get it but I’d love to hear a producer’s analysis on this), and they seem to build their own ways into harmony on each song. Check out this album- it’s an exercise in innovation, and it’s a set of artistic wonders.

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