As the adage goes, good things come to those who wait, and Death of Lovers’ highly anticipated debut album is not an exception. This neo-post-punk outfit’s first release—the Buried Under A World Of Roses E.P. was released in 2014 and left the world wanting more. Now, this Brooklyn quartet has unveiled a polished new sound with their debut album, The Acrobat. Carrying the ‘80s-tinged hallmarks peppered throughout their initial E.P., The Acrobat is an ambitious experiment with thoughtful synth-driven pop. Interwoven synths, clanging drum beats and currents of guitar kick up the dust to their post-punk fore bearers. Some may roll their eyes at the sound, but for someone like me who grew up in that era and loved the production styles and guitar textures of the era, it’s a welcomed friend returning.
The fade-in drums with the taut echo and milky bass of “Orphans Of The Smog” reminds me instantly of so many groups from that period who I loved: A Flock Of Seagulls, Joy Division, The Cure, The Sound, The Chameleons. I love the layered vocals and keyboards – everything about this track works for me; think Seventeen Seconds and you’d be on target. “Here Lies” immediately recalls Blancmange and the earliest things from Depeche Mode, with its repeated synth riffs and electro-drums with a slightly vague/foggy vocal; “The Lowly People” leaps right out of 1982 with great, cold sculptures of melody and “Divine Song”, with its slow, dirgy build up with a bass right off Pornography has that wonderful air of mystery that so many records of the period offered.
Obviously, Death Of Lovers are very astute students of that period in music; they have learned and crafted their sound exquisitely. And it’s easy for me to close my eyes and imagine any one of these tracks to be sandwiched between The The and China Crisis on the old WLIR… Does my old heart good. A more than satisfactory debut album, indeed.
The Acrobat is currently available