In a world where Scandi-pop is Scandi-popping up all over the joint, Swedish duo Niki & The Dove feel like veritable stalwarts. They seem to have navigated their genre’s trajectory quite well – starting off with the bombast of DJ, Ease My Mind, they’ve now settled into a groove that doesn’t require showmanship and it suits them bloody well.
Of course, the title being Everybody’s Heart Is Broken Now is pretty indicative of the sad-pop within. And it doesn’t get much better than So Much It Hurts, which feels like the sort of thing that would result from giving Carly Rae Jepsen some tamazepam. It’s unhurried, uncluttered, and marries it synths to Malin Dahlstrom’s glassy vocals in the most modest way.
It’s that approach that makes You Want The Sun such a treat, and the decade-worn radio sound of, funnily enough, Play It On My Radio even more pointed – Niki & The Dove don’t need big choruses to impress anyone, content instead to share their tales of loss as the club lights come on.
“I’m broken, broken-hearted” starts the second track You Stole My Heart Away, shuffling with a 70s disco turn-down and highlighting just how understated these jams are. There’s homage but never at the cost of being reductive, though the relentless mid-tempo occasionally threatens to flatline over an indulgent length. Regardless, this is a stunningly crafted pop album, unafraid to wear its heart as brazenly on its sleeve as that title. Everybody’s heart may be broken at this party, but Niki & The Dove still feel like pop’s much-needed restorative.