Niki And The Dove - Instinct LP
NEW. SUB POP RECORDS. Kaleidoscopic in the studio and a force majeure on stage, its no surprise that Malin Dahlstrom (vocals) and Gustaf Karlof (keyboards) of Swedens Niki & The Doves met while writing music for the theatre. While their roots are in theatre (their live show includes three drummers, a bassist and two dancers flanking Malins costumed, exuberant presence), they ultimately straddle the pop and dance worlds with a devastating musical hybrid that incorporates electronics and beats spanning from tribal to synth-pop to R&B. It is a riddle to work out exactly what the pair are-as it should be. In our heart, we are a soul band, not an electronic band, says Malin.
Niki & The Doves pop and dance sides are both evident from the very first moments of Instinct, their debut album, as the opening track Tomorrow unfolds a subtle pulse with pan-Pacific textures underneath Malins aching vocal, rising to a series of euphoric peaks as the vocals ramp up the feeling of a tribal ceremony. This was also the case with DJ, Ease My Mind, the duos debut single released in February 2010. Malins vocal has the urgency and vulnerability of epic 60s girl-group pop (The Shangri Las, say) fused to Niki & The Doves unique version of joyful dance-floor release. Time and again, Instinct follows the same blueprint of intent-a blend of tenderness, explosion, hypnosis and elation-but never the same routine. Instinct is an exhilarating experience, like stepping into a piece of art.
Is expectation weighing on Niki & The Dove, now that they are receiving international acclaim, including placing in the BBC Sound of 2012 poll? Not according to Gustaf: Its wonderful, an extremely big honour, and also unreal. But we just make the music that we want to, and never compromise, so no pressure. Its not like we can change anything anyway!