It's an article of faith among certain bloggers that Junior Boys should be huge, but the reason they aren't is probably quite straightforward: their songs don't always match the deftness with which the Canadian duo weave cutting-edge dancefloor influences into their sound. Their last album, Begone Dull Care, highlighted the problem – as clever as ever, but lacking in hooks. Their latest was recorded after returning from an extended stay in Shanghai, and while its subtle melding of icy electronica with slick 80s R&B isn't a radical sonic departure, there's a definite sense of a band buffing what they do until it sparkles, and this time, the melodies genuinely engage you. Playtime swells and ebbs until it reaches a gorgeous coda; EP sounds like an actual hit single and the closing nine minutes of Banana Ripple offer an object lesson in how to balance dancefloor euphoria with a nagging, inescapable undercurrent of melancholy.
Alexis Petridis is the Guardian's head rock and pop critic