Swimming with Dolphins

Water Colours

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Since the synthesizer is a modern electronic instrument, the music it produces automatically seems to connote the future, but that doesn't explain why Austin Tofte's Minnesota-based 21st century synth pop band Swimming with Dolphins sound so retro. Current technology or no, synths, when used like this, simply conjure up the 1980s, when dancefloors were crowded by the constant beats and newly invented sound textures. Tofte sings in a light, disembodied voice over the electronic waves, sometimes joined by equally uninvolved female vocals by Sarah Beintker (on "Holiday" and "Sleep to Dream"), Sunsun ("Happiness"), and Modsun ("Good Times"). As the titles suggest, this is party music, and Swimming with Dolphins make clear that the party never really has to stop, another gift of technology. "The good times don't have to end," Tofte instructs on the final track, "We can hit rewind and do it all over again."

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