The award for “strangest boy band of the pandemic era” goes to Drain Gang, the collective of Swedish misfits who’ve attained cult status for their transcendent mix of cloud rap and hyperpop. To record Crest, vocalists Bladee and Ecco2k and producer Whitearmor holed up in a remote Swedish beach cabin, near where Ingmar Bergman filmed his 1957 classic The Seventh Seal; 60-some years later, the Gang poses similar questions about life, death, and the existence of God, with choruses that feel like prayers and lyrics like “We think we exist, that’s we why suffer, do we not?/Give it to me raw, death is beautiful” (on the nine-minute epic “5 Star Crest [4 Vattenrum]”). Slather these existential koans in Auto-Tune, add the ecstatic sounds of a Y2K rave, and you’ve almost got the Drain Gang recipe. But there’s something else there, too: a sweet, sincere yearning for something bigger than themselves.

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