Voyage Voyage

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Coma's first release for City Slang after a run on Kompakt that lasted the better part of a decade, Voyage Voyage is the Cologne duo's most pop-minded, indie-friendly work yet, placing a greater emphasis on vocal hooks and rock instrumentation. While there are plenty of vibrant synth sequences and shuffling tech-house rhythms, the electronic elements are generally stripped down to the basics and combined with bass guitars and live drums, with plenty of space for the duo's introspective lyrics. Less extroverted than a band like Hot Chip, Coma express a similar level of sincerity on tunes like the simmering, midtempo lament "A-Train." The slow-burning but effervescent "Bits and Pieces" is the centerpiece, with its calmly transcendent synths and anxious yet fearless vocals carrying a very New Order type of atmosphere. The shorter "Dream Sequence" and "Minor Matters" are two of the more abstract cuts, with manipulated vocals floating in gauzy sonics, but "Sparkle" has a more straightforward, surging beat, peaking with a wave of prickly analog synths. The album concludes with the taut new wave of "..," which manages to briskly convey feelings of apprehension and uncertainty ("I can't explain what's on my mind"). Retaining the dancefloor energy of their previous releases while delving deeper into personal reflections, Voyage Voyage marks Coma's evolution into a more focused dance-pop group.

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