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It’s been over three years since we last heard from Swedish indie-pop act The Concretes, a band who turned out a string of consistently excellent records beginning with 2003’s eponymous debut. The band has undergone many changes in the years since they premiered–most notably the departure of lead singer Victoria Bergsman, who now records under the Taken by Trees monker–but The Concretes have never undergone a sea change quite like the one about to greet their fans.
On November 8th, Friendly Fire Recordings will release the band’s latest LP, entitled WYWH. The Concretes have referred to it as their “disco” album, and one listen to “Good Evening” makes evident that such a classification is only a half-joke. With former drummer Lisa Milberg now handling vocals, the band has stepped out of their comfort zone and embraced elements of the spacious Balearic sound which has reared its head since their last release.
On a practical level, this means that “Good Evening” has a four-on-the-floor drum beat, twinkling synthesizers, and vocals processed with generous helpings of digital delay. However, hallmark elements of The Concretes’ sound remain in place as well. The beautiful guitar melodies which characterized their first couple of records are transmuted here into more languorous sighs, but there is no denying their beauty. While this is a departure sure to frustrate some fans of the band’s more twee roots, The Concretes have taken bold, confident steps into new territory with WYWH; those willing to march alongside them are in for a great listen.