Tomas Barfod

Love Me

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Tomas Barfod's sophomore solo album, 2014's Love Me, is an atmospheric, introspective work much in the same vein as his 2012 debut, Salton Sea. Starting out as a percussionist, Barfod has built a varied career experimenting across genres as a DJ, producer, and drummer with his trio WhoMadeWho featuring guitarist Jeppe Kjellberg and bassist Tomas Høffding (both of whom appear on Love Me). Given his eclectic résumé, it should come as no surprise that Love Me, while being a primarily electronic endeavor, retains a deeply organic aesthetic. Just as with Salton Sea, one would be hard-pressed to call Barfod's recordings dance music, although he is certainly informed by club, rave, and EDM aesthetics. At his core, Barfod is a drummer and even when he is at his most ruminative, which is most of the time on Love Me, he retains a drummer's sense of groove. To these ends, the exotic "Honey," featuring vocals by Sleep Party People, and "Blue Matter," with Kjellberg, are pulsing, layered, even somewhat ominous-sounding cuts. Elsewhere, Barfod is joined by singers Luke Temple and Nina Kinert for a handful of moody, cinematic cuts, including the epic "Bell House," the '80s new wave-sounding "Busy Baby," and the languid, orchestral-tinged "Aftermath." Also interesting are the two instrumental tracks, "Destiny's Child" and "Mandalay," which bring to mind the '70s and '80s synthesizer compositions of artists like Laurie Spiegel and Giorgio Moroder. Ultimately, with Love Me, Barfod has crafted an album of highly engaging, emotionally resonant pop music that's as creatively rewarding as it is accessible.

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