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Wistful thinking

May 8, 2008

Five years is a long time in electronic music. Trends move so quickly and today’s buzz artist is tomorrow’s complete irrelevance. So it’s interesting to see how a band that sounded so “now” in 2003 decides to approach 2008.

The Notwist’s Neon Golden was the undisputed high-point of the “lap-pop” revolution that-never-really-was. Along with the Postal Service and Lali Puna and a host of lesser-known (Clue to Kalo) and lesser (Styrofoam) acts, they were united by dramatic chord changes and glitchy percussion.

Things have moved along, as they always do. Electronic indie pop has simultaneously become more danceable (Hot Chip), more emotional (Junior Boys) and a hell of a lot darker (The Knife). Where do a bunch of sensitive Germans who haven’t released an album (barring the 13 & God side-project) in half a decade go?

Turns out they’re just doing more of the same. Whereas Neon Golden seemed part of a scene and part of a time, The Devil, You + Me sounds like nothing so much as The Notwist. I guess they just worked out that no one sounded quite like them and that they get away with making only minimal changes.

It’s less glitchy, less gimmicky. But it’s full of moody sounds and moodier lyrics. It makes me think that The Notwist of 2013 will be more or less like this, and that that won’t be a bad thing at all.

The Notwist – “Good Lies”

The Notwist – “Gloomy Planets”

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