Wunder Wunder

Everything Infinite

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The duo behind Wunder Wunder may have met up in sunny Australia, but their debut album, Everything Infinite, is infused with the glittering sunshine of their adopted home of Los Angeles. The laid-back and ecstatically happy version of Los Angeles. Aaron Shanahan and Benjamin Plant fill every inch of the album with sparklingly bright synths, gently jangling guitars, and their wide-eyed vocals, then lovingly slap a coat of sugar, sweet and sticky as honey gloss, on top. Drawing from the psychedelic pop of the '60s, the loose-limbed bagginess of '90s U.K. pop, the blissful sound of 2000s Swedish dance-pop, and the reverb-happy, super-retro production styles of fellow Aussies like Tame Impala, the album has an impressive depth of field. Each song sounds packed to within an inch of its life with sound and color, while still having enough focus to make a resounding splash. Whether aimed for the dancefloor ("Hail the Madmen"), the chillout room ("Summers Day"), or straight to the head of the neo-psych pack ("Trouble in Utopia"), every song is headed somewhere euphoric and dazzlingly bright. Even the few down-ish songs, like "Midnight Hours," will have you reaching for some shades. While it's easy to hear the duo's influences most of the time, or to compare them -- always favorably -- to their contemporaries, the best songs stake out territory that is Wunder Wunder's alone. "Sure Stuck," a percolating rocker with an insistent drive, a fiendishly clever guitar sound, and brilliant bits of keyboard flair, fits that bill. So does the record's final track, "Dreams of the Fall," which blends ambient pop, Beatlesque balladry, and Air-puffed beats into something expansive and important sounding. It's a nice way to end the album, and sends listeners off with an epic swell in their hearts to go along with the sunny joy the preceding songs brand into their brains. Everything Infinite is an amazingly focused debut from a couple of guys who have already perfected their sound and give the impression that they could keep doing it for years to come. Even if they don't, this will stand as one of the more enjoyable records of 2014. Of course, if you like your music dark and imposing, you'll want to avoid it like vampires avoid sunshine. If you are on the lookout for some musical vitamin D however, it's exactly what you need.

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