Miike Snow are a curious lot. Largely mysterious, the trio still seem to have somehow invaded public consciousness thanks to odd breakthrough hits here and there. Ask people to name more of their catalogue though and they might be stumped, given their penchant for straying into obscure electronica (although their collaboration with Lykke Li is worth seeking out).
On iii, Messrs Karlsson, Winnberg, and Wyatt pretty much chuck all notions of coolth aside to fully embrace their pop aspirations. There are hooks galore on this record, opening with the one-two punch of My Trigger and The Heart of Me. In the realms of indie-pop, it’s dynamite stuff that sits atop the best of the genre, with radio-ready choruses matching Andrew Wyatt’s vocal with acute precision.
But of course, the downside of writing pretty solid pop is that a formula eventually makes itself evident, and it doesn’t take long for Miike Snow’s to come to the fore. The ‘ooh-oohs’ of Genghis Khan blend in with their surroundings, with most songs relying on the same pattern. There’s also no forgiving a wasted feature from Charli XCX, as a firebrand pop star becomes obfuscated in the Snow school of overbearing electronica.
Still, iii is a largely pleasant affair and rather easy to get on board with. It certainly helps in cementing the trio’s identity a little more as they become more comfortable with more commercial expectations, but they certainly need to push the boundaries a bit more to bring back the quirk that got them here in the first place. Without that, they may as well join another forgotten Scandi trio and rename themselves Peter, Bjorn, and John.