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"Don’t Want to Sleep"

FM Belfast – Don’t Want to Sleep
01 June 2011, 09:00 Written by Gina Louise

If I didn’t suspect that my routine hatred of everything would dampen their effervescent happiness, I’d probably be an FM Belfast groupie. In any normal circumstance their infinite cheer would grind my gears, yet for some reason I can’t help but love their merry melodies, dry humour and raw unexpendable energy. To be honest, there’s not much I can fault with their quirky electronic pop. Time and time again they deliver – whether it’s an awesome album, an energetic stage performance or an interview that divulges the secrets of lead singer Lóa’s hairy legs – it’s all good stuff.

Though I’m a keen believer in more-of-the-same albums from bands I love, in this case I’m more than happy to eat my own words. FM Belfast’s evolution from down tempo, earthy electro to upbeat, bouncy electronica is one of the most successful natural progressions I’ve heard for a long time. They use a variety of new instruments on this LP, spanning from the rolling piano to the obligatory computer game sounds we hear in ‘Stripes’ and ‘Mondays’. Their music now packs a punch that will knock you for six, with songs more infectious than nits and hooks so catchy you’ll be shaking them off for days.

The album opens with ‘Stripes’, which has a dynamic diversity that sets the precedent for the 12 remaining tracks. Don’t Want to Sleep is a collection of musical lulls and peaks interjected with reworked synths and sugar coated lyrics. While they were a little late riding in on the influx of new wave 80s, they refreshingly avoid the Joy Division streak of depression that so often accompanies this movement. I suppose this is what Cold Cave would sound like if you fed them a diet of amphetamines and Smarties.

The star among stars on this album, is ‘I Don’t Want to go to Sleep Either’, which gives you the kind of giddy rush you can only get from rolling down a hill: you know you’re probably going to look a bit of a tit for liking it, but it’s fun, and strangely addictive. From the praise I’ve given this band, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re some crazy new genre bashing titans – they’re not. But don’t be sad, whilst they play safely within their niche of electro pop, they’re mighty fine at it. And you don’t want to punch them in the face for being so god damn happy. Bonus!

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