Indulge us, please. Yes, we’re going to make loud comparisons to Lykke Li, Robyn and slightly quieter ones to Son Lux. Yes, we’re going to say there’s an overwhelming and unmistakable Scandi sound to the whole thing. Yes, we’re going to break every cliché rule in the cool book and tell you we heart it.
It was a keen interest in the aforementioned Swedish pop sorts that first drew our attention to neighbouring Norwegian electro-lot Philco Fiction several years ago, alongside the release of their debut album Take It Personally. Needless to say, their new offering Talk/Brag is one of the finer electronica albums we’ve heard in a ruddy good while. Cleverly bordering on creativity and all-encompassing accessibility, it carries familiarity through its vocals and its hark to pop years gone by.
Momentarily dodgy lyrics are all but forgiven and forgotten amid everything you could want from a cool electro-pop record. There’s a raunchy R&B beat that underpins each song in turn, opening with rolling beauty Bodies which, sure, for the first 30 seconds sounds a bit like an 80s female-friendly erotica soundtrack (of course we don’t watch those), but it perfectly represents all the pleasurable things to come.
Slower moments shine through in closing track 2pm and June, but are by no means any smaller by way of production qualities. Hold Your Breath is equally loud and sexy, and will have you googling “backcombed mullet” before you know what’s happened. Bassy, reverby, and scrumptiously consistent, there’s enough diversity to demonstrate clever and melodic writing while also remaining true to great form throughout.
The title track continues to honour those past influences, being a driving, pounding hit that we can’t get enough of. Reach for your finest grey blazer, roll those sleeves up, pop the shoulder pads and get your strut on – this is definitely an album of classic sounding beauties. Sure, it’s nothing especially ground breaking by way of innovation or risk, but Talk/Brag is an ultra-modern monster that sounds smartly retro, and we love every pulsing beat of it. Now where’s the Campari and soda?