After the chilled dance and cheek of Royksopp’s first albums, they moved into transient adult synth pop. The sounds of ‘Junior’, ‘Senior’, and ‘Do It Again’, they switched between sinister, ominous tones, moved between glitter and calm. Many of the best of these tracks featured Robyn, who just brings a cool magic to everything.
Enter Incremona & hope it, whose newly released single brings the same wistful of mix sun-just-gone sadness and shine. Over a bass synth that glides as smooth as anything on ‘Junior’, we get vocal loops, clean percussion, warm pads. The song swells with an optimist’s glow, though it’s rooted in cracks of depression. Listen careful and close and you can just about pick out a Carpenters’ birdsong in earshot.
This could so easily slip into twee, into over-glossed saccharine and cuteness, but instead there’s a rich seam of warm simple sounds that worm their way into your anvils.
The vocal work is the soft hook that latches. Synthesized samples get sugared and bent into welcome repeated refrains. Right away we get thinking of Austra, and the same play with voice as an instrument. Verses break these shapes up, energetic and shy, bringing dark themes and thoughts to forefront… there’s a fear in the warmth of the track, it’s a deceptively bleak little piece.
But it nags and it calms and it chills. It placates the most meanest of moods. It’s a smooth sad-pop single that sneaks its way in and settles down soft, free and easy.