Looking at the surface of Dempsey, one predicts there’s not a lot of depth to them. The press shot of band members Niels Pederson and Adam Abildgaard shows them as tanned fellows sitting in the bath together. One could imagine the California-raised duo making rock for surfer dudes rather than the electro-fuelled dreampop which characterises their first EP.
Thick, echo-heavy beats usher in ‘Late Night’ and they are soon joined by breathy vocals and New Order-style bass riffs. It sounds epic albeit epic in the machine-made sense. Yet ‘Flashback’ peels back the first layers of emotion with opening lyrics of “I’ll never forget her” evoking a holiday romance. Perhaps this also inspired the rather more visceral concerns of ‘Sex On The Beach’ but its synth pop melody is undeniably infectious. That track is followed by ‘Patricia’; an odd but not unwelcome interlude in to easy listening territory. The one significant bad move comes next where the singing on ‘When We Were Younger’ errs dangerously towards boy band territory but at least they recover for the blissed-out finale ‘Never Knew’, which is arguably the most complex and fully realised moment on the EP.
Dempsey offer a youthful perspective on the dreampop sound which stays just the right side of 1980’s electro pastiche. Their general approach to songwriting and arrangements indicate that as they mature, they could really produce something special.
Dempsey Bandcamp Site
New Order, M83