There’s so much in the sonics and bones of ‘Believe’ that it’s hard to know just where start. It’s frustratingly clever, emphatically catchy, and just so damn easily accessible. But those catches aren’t hooks that you sing on repeat, they’re the snags and the claws on emotion. As soon as the sound of the synth swells fade in, we’re in nu-wave’s emotional draw.
From the start it’s three minutes of climax. ‘Believe’ takes the templates of post-rock’s slow builds and crams it all into a pop song. Add this to stadium reverb and wash, and we get something blissfully guilt-free. Electronic arpeggios, guitar lines that wain, Cassio drum machines that blast bold and loud, vocals that move from pained duets to ‘woahs’, it’s a gratuitously glorious subversive mix of lo-fo and neon-charged polish.
As for comparisons, pick one. Depeche Mode at their curious crossover stage between electro-freak kids and arenas, an unholy matrimony of late life New Order, The Naked and Famous, Killers, Kings of Leon, all those namechecks should tell you its grandeur. And as two of those bands give me itch-heavy hives, I assure you it’s meant as high praise.
Anomic Soul take up astrodome indie and make sure it stays nuanced and grounded. These are intelligent festival mass-pleasing sounds with a wealth of life under the surface.