We Are Only What We Feel


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We Are Only What We Feel Review

by Matt Collar

NoNoNo's full-length debut album, 2014's We Are Only What We Feel, showcases the Swedish trio's bright, melodic, dance-oriented synth pop. Centered around vocalist Stina Wäppling, the group also features the talents of keyboardist Michel "Rocwell" Flygare and guitarist Tobias "Astma" Jimson (otherwise known as the production duo Astma & Rocwell). Together, Wäppling, Flygare, and Jimson make the kind of ubiquitous, mainstream electronic-based music that straddles the line between radio-friendly pop and atmospheric electronica. There's also a minor folk influence running through the album, even though it is clearly subservient to the band’s more synth- and rock-oriented leanings. In that sense, cuts like "Pumpin' Blood," with its jaunty whistled melody, and "One Wish," with its multi-voiced chorus, fit nicely alongside the work of such similarly inclined groups as Peter Bjorn and John, Foster the People, Of Monsters and Men, and MGMT. NoNoNo also have a nice sense for retro dance music, and the opening "Jungle," with its insistent disco beat and chilly synthesizer backgrounds, brings to mind much of Giorgio Moroder's classic '70s and '80s productions. Elsewhere, they delve into a batch of moody, poetic cuts including "Echo" and "Down Under," which, as with most of We Are Only What We Feel, reveal NoNoNo's knack for building songs out of layered keyboards that frame Wäppling's yearning, cherubic vocals. Ultimately, NoNoNo have a good feel for the past, but an even better feel for the present.

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