Album Reviews

Album Review: When Saints Go Machine – Konkylie (!K7)

By | Published on Thursday 19 May 2011

When Saints Go Machine

With the ever-present influx of new synth-pop groups in recent years, there’s an inevitable tendency to pigeonhole them by working out what year (from the 1980s, in most cases) their sound is most redolent of. It’s an impossible task with Danish four piece WSGM, whose effervescent debut album ‘Konkylie’ (nothing to do with Ms Minogue) is a multilayered, evocative affair that bears the faint trace of “influences” but doesn’t really sound like anyone else.

Each track is a dreamy, slightly otherworldly symphony, with lush orchestrations, but all made contemporary with some subtle but still detectable nods to club culture. This elegant electronic pop invariably recalls the Scandinavian glacial artistry of The Knife or Röyksopp, but the soulful vocals of Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild (redolent of Antony Hegarty) add considerable warmth, even though the best tracks here (‘Church And Law’, ‘Chestnut’) are perfectly infused with aching melancholy.

Though not the first to meld lush pop with electronica (Björk, Billy Mackenzie or even Frazier Chorus spring to mind), this is nonetheless a hypnotic and constantly surprising future-disco trip-pop opus which warrants further exposure. MS

Physical release: 6 Jun