WhoMadeWho move toward dream pop on first taste of upcoming album
Image: Embassy One
If you Google Copenhagen trio WhoMadeWho, you may notice that they’re listed as ‘experimental pop.’ Now, in the current landscape where artists like Lotic are subverting pop tropes left right and centre and where hyperpop has become a legitimate genre, maybe this is not entirely accurate. However, what is certain is that this trio are in the business of crafting some seriously dreamy electronic music. This is particularly true of 2020’s Synchronicity, an album full of thrumming and glowing tech music that crafted distinctly emotive moments through melody and bright progression. Their latest string of singles point toward the direction of their upcoming seventh studio album, due next year on Embassy One. And it’s a direction that does sort of take a more pop friendly approach compared to Synchronicity, with particular focus on lyrics.
Opening with atmospheric backbeats and a stirring piano riff, Silence & Secrets begins to thrum with gorgeous chord progressions and licks of plucked guitar strings against warm, organic rhythms. The restraint to never let the track explode beyond its own boundaries before its triumphant final act makes Silence & Secrets a deftly emotive and altogether transportive experience, though it’s hard not to wonder what sort of ethereal heights this may have soared to should it not have been bound by its pop friendly runtime. Summer begins as a vintage psych-rock track, an ode to summer sung in a meditative melody over softly strummed guitar chords and the faint ambience of people at the beach. Following this extended introduction, it quickly turns post-punk adjacent with a kick heavy beat and distorted noise bubbling under the surface. Mermaids is particularly magical, with its bubbling lead arpeggio that opens into a reef full of funk-informed guitar riffs and bouncing synth chords. Capturing the tonality of the mermaid’s mysticism and enchanting sensuality, the track ebbs and flows through the tides before crashing into its propulsive final act.
These singles feel distinctly more analogous than Synchronicity, featuring more guitars and organic percussion. There’s a dream pop sensibility to the music that recalls Beach House with a dose of Animal Collective. In a way, it pushes their sound back toward 2018’s Through The Walls, but by way of the energy found on Synchronicity. Regarding these three singles as an EP of sorts, it’s clear that they form part of a larger picture. Together, it feels like more space needs to be given to allow this style to develop to its fullest, richest potential. And that makes it all the more intriguing to see what this new album has in store. Listen below.