Scarlet Youth

The Everchanging View

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With members hailing from both Finland and Germany, dreamy indie act Scarlet Youth up their adoration of early-'80s synthesizer-heavy pop on sophomore album The Everchanging View. Though always enamored with the wistful synth pop sounds of acts like New Order and Echo & the Bunnymen, the 11 songs that make up this incredibly solid album dig a little deeper, adding melancholic string sounds and glowing analog synth pads to almost all of their distantly melodic tracks. The same tug of war between icy isolation and first-day-of-spring warmth that defined New Order's Power, Corruption & Lies is present on The Everchanging View, if in a somewhat less immediate way. Singer Markus Baltes' rich, looming vocals recall not just Bernard Sumner's breathy introspective tones but at moments call to mind both the late-night romanticism of the Psychedelic Furs' Richard Butler or a less throaty version of The The's Matt Johnson. There are more polished moments throughout, such as sheer pop productions like "Coastlines" and the synthetic bell samples of "Cool Kids," but moodier sidetracks are equally interesting. The cheap-sounding drum machine beats and brittle guitars of "Home Is Where Your Heart Is" make the song stand out without losing overall consistency with the album, and tunes like this add to the bed of breezy pop with just enough shoegaze grit to keep things interesting.

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