Since their nomination for BBC Sound of 2012 and the snowstorm of attention it whipped up, Niki & The Dove have clambered up onto a whited sepulchre of glistening European electronica and are shouting through a loudspeaker from the top.
New album Instinct is a euphoric, unselfconscious mad dash between indie and electronic music. Sliding back and forth on synths with joyful, leap-inducing abandon, it retains just enough opacity to keep it fresh and engaging. The pair draw on the work of velveteen-dark Scandinavian counterparts like The Knife and Bjork, along with some of the tempestuous eccentricity of artists like Kate Bush. This is most visible in the first two tracks, the sparklingly galactic Tomorrow and slightly more subdued The Drummer making for a strong start.
The ice-glissaded pinnacle of the album is perhaps The Gentle Roar, gritty bass and fairyland bells providing an inconceivably layered backdrop to vocalist Malin Dahlström slurring breathy lyrics like “the innocent dark and the sweet dawn of the storm”. It’s swiftly followed by the equally ethereal Mother Protect, sweeping and insane in its majesty.
While Instinct is disjointed, frenetic and unconventional, it’s hard to say something that calls to mind dinosaurs fighting in a strobe-lighted Russian aircraft hangar isn’t original. Cosmic and crazy, it’s a gleefully confrontational homage to the most weathered ice fields of the electronic music genre.