Vanbot (real name Ester Ideskog) is the latest act to namecheck at all the right parties. She has had a busy couple of years after scrapping her previous album not long before the scheduled release. Taking a break due to a creative breakdown she has now returned having put together Perfect Storm, an album of smooth electro-pop at just the right side of bubblegum with plenty of club elements to delight pretty much any pop fan.
First single “Trooper” is a perfect example of this, all ‘na na na’ hooks with a retro synth solo, and you are reminded at how influenced the likes of Taylor Swift are by Scandinavian pop (her recent song “Out of the Woods” sounding like a Roxette number from 20 years ago) The euphoric “The Way You Say It” follows it with 80s hints and elements of Tegan & Sara’s Hearthrob album.
It’s not all high-octane pop however. “Watching you sleep” is reminiscent of fellow Swedes The Knife, with its emphasis on toms and bleeps creating a different atmosphere. The lyrics even mention ‘silent shout’ and a warped male-sounding backing vocal (which returns in a more distorted form in “Maniac”) adds a darker edge before it evolves into epic trance.
Her vocals sound naive and harsh in equal measures which means you get all the emotions and in a genre which often relies on artifice this provides a nice dimension. Perfect Storm is a synth-heavy set of sparkling, sing-along tunes, from the seductive simplicity of “Shake” to the pick of the singles “Seven” which is hook after hook of bright infectious pop.
Perfect Storm is available from today.