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Electronic - Released February 1, 2011 | !K7 Records

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Electronic - Released June 6, 2011 | !K7 Records

That Danish quartet When Saints Go Machine would inspire a bit of fan art specifically referencing a similar Depeche Mode photo shot from 1993 would seem to indicate what's at work on the group's second album, Konkylie. It's a bit of misdirection, though -- if anything, the electronic exploration and understated rigor on their exquisite 2011 release comes from Depeche's mid-'80s era and, more to the point, only makes one small part of the whole. A large part of the appeal lies in lead singer Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild, who's been tagged as a new Arthur Russell but whose voice slightly suggests, if anyone, Antony Hegarty. The key difference is that the parallel is Hegarty in his more structured and focused mode, evident more from his dance collaborations instead of his own fairly aimless songs. Yet again, that's not the whole story of the band's work either -- the swirl of sonic suggestions throughout the album ranges from Laurie Anderson to These New Puritans to Active Child to Planningtorock to Brian Eno and David Byrne's collaborations and much more besides, all tied up and presented as an immediate and incredibly enjoyable art pop album without apology, an increasingly distinct and unique prospect. "Church and Law" might seem like one of the most straightforward songs on the album but only after an extended introduction into the rhythmic clip of the song itself. Similarly, when "Chestnut" briefly breaks to the wispiest of synths it's all elegance; when it suddenly returns to full rhythm it's an embrace of electronic pop's ability to connect directly. "Kelly" could almost be a full-on Depeche swing and kick except that it's also a brilliant falsetto R&B mover, while the title track's initially drumless swoon and Vonsild's choired vocals are simply gorgeous listening. That the album wraps up on an energetic and playful note with "Add Ends," reverbed strings and gently increasing pace helping bring it home, emphasizes how well the group has found its place already. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 8, 2019 | Escho

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Trip Hop - Released May 4, 2018 | WSGM

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Electronic - Released March 27, 2020 | Escho

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Pop - Released May 20, 2013 | !K7 Records

When Saints Go Machine earned enough praise for the haunting art pop of their second album, Konkylie, that when it came time to deliver a follow-up, the quartet could have easily rested on their laurels. Fortunately, on Infinity Pool, they continue to challenge themselves and their listeners by streamlining their sound and expanding it in unexpected ways. They do both on the opening track, "Love and Respect," which introduces Infinity Pool's harder-edged, more overtly electronic style and also boasts a cameo by rapper Killer Mike. One of the most striking differences between Konkylie and Infinity Pool is how much more distinctive, yet natural, Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild's vocals sound here. While the comparisons to Antony and Arthur Russell won't be going away anytime soon, Vonsild's singing is more nimble, particularly on "Infinity Killer," where his warm, ever so slightly off-kilter tones are given more depth by his sleek surroundings; likewise, the precise backdrop on "Yard Heads" gives his reading of lyrics like "I'm dead/Dead happy" even more eerie soulfulness. Of course, there are still callbacks to Konkylie here and there on Infinity Pool: the single "Iodine" shows that When Saints Go Machine haven't lost any of the transporting surreality that made their previous album so noteworthy, while "System of Unlimited Love" suggests that there are still strong ties between their music and the indie R&B of the 2010s. Similarly, the band still has a remarkable flair for juxtaposing wildly different sounds and moods and making it seem effortless; from more theatrical cuts like "Mental Shopping Spree" and "Slave to the Take in Your Heaven," where Vonsild's almost androgynous vocals are complemented by keyboards that alternately suggest a church and a spaceship, to downbeat ones such as the strikingly moody "Dead Boy," each of these songs reflects a different facet of the band. These songs also reflect how When Saints Go Machine have expanded and enriched their sound on Infinity Pool even more than Konkylie might have suggested. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Electronic - Released June 27, 2011 | !K7 Records

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Pop - Released December 25, 2020 | WSGM

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Trip Hop - Released April 5, 2018 | WSGM

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Pop - Released January 15, 2021 | WSGM

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Electronic - Released October 21, 2013 | !K7 Records

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Electronic - Released August 5, 2013 | !K7 Records

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Electronic - Released June 18, 2012 | !K7 Records

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Electronic - Released June 24, 2013 | !K7 Records

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Electronic - Released May 13, 2013 | !K7 Records

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Electronic - Released November 14, 2011 | !K7 Records

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Electronic - Released September 19, 2011 | !K7 Records

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Electronic - Released May 30, 2011 | !K7 Records