Niki & The Dove / Instinct - SP930
Kaleidoscopic in the studio and a force majeure on stage, it’s no surprise that Malin Dahlstrom (vocals) and Gustaf Karlof (keyboards) of Sweden’s Niki & The Dove’s 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 Malin’s 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 Dove’s 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 Malin’s 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 duo’s debut single released in February 2010. Malin’s vocal has the urgency and vulnerability of epic ‘60s girl-group pop (The Shangri La’s, say) fused to Niki & The Dove’s 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: “It’s wonderful, an extremely big honour, and also unreal. But we just make the music that we want to, and never compromise, so no pressure. It’s not like we can change anything anyway!”
Vinyl includes mp3 download code.
If you pre-order Instinct by August 7th, you’ll receive a limited Niki & The Dove tote bag! Also, if you pre-order Instinct on vinyl LP, you’ll receive the limited, Loser Edition version—a colored-vinyl copy of the record, in this case, it’s on crystal-clear colored-vinyl. Sure, clear-colored is kind of an oxymoron, but it’s really cool and limited nonetheless. Both of these things, as we’ve mentioned, ad nauseum, are limited, so first come, first serve—order soon!
Released: August 7, 2012