Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Icona Pop unleashes majestic singles upon the dance-pop world

November 3, 2011

If the next big thing exists, it’s Icona Pop. (With the fickleness of the Internet, the “next big thing” is a pretty fluid concept.) But for those who are chasing good tunes instead of hipness, I’ve got a prescription for you: “Nights Like This,” off the EP of the same name.

Yes, “Manners” took over everything when it was released – it even got appropriated by Chiddy Bang. But “Nights Like This” is even better. It’s more adrenalized, catchier, and more fun. There’s less cold, Age of Adz-esque pretension and more party-bangin’ beats and synths, followed by a euphoric rush of wild “whoa-oh”s. It’s the sort of thing that must have sounded absolutely monster when they were writing it, because it’s pulled off with an assertive confidence that sells that which was doing just fine on its own. You know when you know, you know?

“Manners” is awesome as well, what with its slithering rhythms and squelching bass synths. The chanting vocals that everyone’s been humming are still awesome. “Lovers to Friends” is a pretty standard synth-pop tune, absent of all the unusual rhythms that make Icona Pop so unique and interesting. Unsurprisingly, it’s the least effective tune here.

“Sun Goes Down” features The Knocks and is a return to the dark, spacious, clubby tunes. Low, modified male vocals contribute significantly to the creepiness of the track, and the whole thing comes off as proof that Icona Pop could have more staying power than two magnificent singles.

I sure hope they have staying power, because anything even resembling the thrill of “Nights Like This” would be enough to keep them on my high rotation. Hear all the audio here.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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