Boomkat Product Review:
Rose-tinted retro pop elegance by Malmö trio Death & Vanilla, one of Fire Records’ modern day MVPs and a must check for anyone into Nouvelle Vague, Stereolab, Au Revoir Simone, Laura Groves.
Equipped with an enviable arsenal of analogue gear, and more importantly the nous to put it to great use, Death and Vanilla trail their darker 2019 album ‘Are You A Dreamer?’ with a more subtly optimistic outlook on 5th studio album ‘Flicker’. Song to song they oscillate pastoral and space age whims with a real feel for ohrwurming hooks and sultry grooves that reference a wealth of ‘60s/‘70s library music, gallic Ye-ye pop, psychedelia and kosmiche in their cool stride and verve. At tej risk of stereotyping, they’ve definitely got that Swedish thing for immaculate pop on lock.
Opener ‘Out for Magic’ evokes vintage-clad pretty people bopping with a Gauloises in hand, and ‘baby Snakes’ strolls off on a moonlit adventure. The chiming guitar lead and swaying vocal to ‘Find Another Illusion’ secretes the balmiest feels, and ‘Perpetuum Mobile’ takes a clean leaf from Stereolab’s kosmiche-pop, next to the motorik drive of ‘Looking Glass’. At its most romantic point, ‘Mercury’s Rise’ shimmers with a star-kissed lysergic quality, contrasting sweetly with the dusky ‘Fearless’ and the fading horizon of ‘Transparent Things’.