Niki & the Dove: Instinct – review

(Mercury)

Though hip-hop has been on to her for years, it is perhaps one of the more surprising twists of recent electro-pop that Enya's ethereal synths have become the sound to aspire to. The debut album from Swedish duo Niki & the Dove follows Grimes in piling on the atmospheric layers, though its references to cats, witches and magic are less evocative of Grimes' eight-day speed bender than they are of a trip to Stonehenge at summer solstice. For all of its wafty strangeness, Instinct is mostly grounded in a straightforward pop sensibility, borrowing postures from Fleetwood Mac (In Our Eyes), Prince (Somebody) and Hazell Dean (Winterheart). But it's when they embrace a genuinely eccentric sound that they hit on something truly special. The Fox is mesmerising as it jerks and lolls around a sinister riff, while Mother Protect builds ominously to dancefloor-worthy breakdown, before soaring off into its chorus: "You can't keep me down, I am done, I am furious." More fury and less moderation and this would have been outstanding; as it is, it's just very good.

Contributor

Rebecca Nicholson

The GuardianTramp

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