There may just be two of them but the New York team of Brian Wenckebach and Evageila Maravelias are capable of making some epic synth pop music. After an excellent mini album – which was bursting with melodic energy – an experimental EP followed, making one wonder what they would come up with next. As it happens, finds the happy medium between the two.
It begins in bubbly fashion with the commercially friendly ‘Summer’. Marvelias’ vocals have always had a close resemblance to Madonna but here the song sounds like one of hers too, complete with an upbeat, electro-pop chorus. Quite a contrast, then, with the track which immediately succeeds it; the brooding near-instrumental ‘Standstill’ is pitched in Dead Can Dance territory.
This trend of pop and ambience is a continual theme throughout the album although it’s fair to say the latter are interesting rather than addictive. At their very best, ‘Death & Avalanches’ provides a successful blend of the electronic with the acoustic, ‘Seam’ cleverly augments breakbeats in to its smooth but darkly mysterious chorus, whilst the finale ‘Tidal Wave’ is a gloriously grungy sugar rush.
In a possibly ironic reflection of their album title, Elika’s songs seem to be light and fluffy on the surface but their best material is undeniably complex; blending genres with a real verve. ‘Snuggle Bunnies’ isn’t as consistently exciting as their mini album but still ticks all the boxes to turn it in to a classy electro-pop album.
Madonna, Garbage, The Other Two, Dubstar