The Breath of the World
The Birth of the Sun
Niki & The Dove’s 2011 EP Drummer brims with pop sophistication. Following the minute-long instrumental intro (“Sundog”), the title track plays as if Feist had written and recorded a song for Kate Bush to sing. With this Stockholm duo, Malin Dahlström’s fairytale vocals provide a nice contrast to the shadowy electro-pop soundscapes of guitar player and keyboardist Gustaf Karlöf. This is more pronounced on “Last Night,” where Dahlström inflects a bit like Cyndi Lauper as she sings “Last night we got married in a back seat” over Karlöf’s illusory sonics. “Mother Protect” harks back to the ‘80s New Romantic movement, with sweeping synths, playful keyboards, rudimentary drum-machine beats, and Dahlström’s endearingly melodramatic singing. It all comes together to create something that could accompany a tense scene in a bygone John Hughes film. Dahlström gets more experimental with distorted synthesizers in the minute-and-a-half-long instrumental “The Breath of the World” before “The Birth of the Sun” closes like a surreal dream-pop lullaby.