Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid

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Elefant frontman Diego Garcia must have memorized nearly every song by the Cure while he was growing up, because his band's debut album, Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid, is a shameless, abstract pop mix, a solid indie pop record heavy in new wave aesthetics. Tripping Two-Tone percussion swirls around glossy synth beats, and Garcia's Morrissey-like dark vocal softness fits his passionate, undying lyrical wishes for that perfect love. One listen to the shimmery synth waves of "Tonight Let's Dance" will reel you into Garcia's storybook imagination, which is both poetically sweet and wild. Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid isn't defenseless with its innocence either, for Mod's feverish guitar work is a great fit to Garcia's lyrical daydreams, particularly on the honeyed punk number "Make Up." A more sullen mood whirls on "Now That I Miss Her," while the title track shimmies with electronic bits for Elefant's most dramatic moment yet. Garcia's near goth-like monotone vocals are a cool move for "Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid" and its underlying melancholy; however, a lush chorus quickly shatters the humdrum. Elefant has carefully crafted an album that's not derivative of the group's garage rock counterparts. Such a task is a difficult one, but Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid brilliantly pulls it off without being overly stylish.

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