With their tenth studio album, the Icelandic electronic collective deliver eight tracks of introspective, often euphoric, progressive dance music.
Now made up solely of founding members Biggi Veira and Daníel Ágúst, GusGus’ Lies Are More Flexible is an album of two halves, with the first four tracks featuring Daníel Ágúst on vocals, and instrumental section following them.
Opener “Featherlight”, with its cascading arpeggiated synth and Daniel Agust’s voice lifted above it on clouds of reverb, is epic and quietly uplifting. “Don’t Know How to Love” features emotionally raw lyrics and really showcases his vocal talents. John Grant joins him here too, providing backing vocals which are at times a duet, offering a riposte of “it’s no emergency” to his plea of “I don’t know how to love”. The upbeat “Fireworks” has satisfying synth stabs, as does “Lifetime” which evolves into a euphoric club ready track.
The 80’s inflected title track “Lies Are More Flexible” is perhaps the most interesting of the instrumental tracks, however the expansive, soaring synths, found on “No Manual” are beautiful and mirror those on the earlier “Don’t Know How To Love”.
GusGus have played with the different styles of dance and electronic music throughout their career and it’s clear that this album is no different. There’s a mix of influences here, from italo disco to progressive house, which all come together in a satisfying, coherent way. Like most progressive electronic music, the instrumental tracks unfold slowly and reward a more engaged listen, though the first four tracks are most definitely have the most immediate and lasting impact. It’s the combination of Daníel Ágúst’s ethereal vocals and Biggi Veira’s electronic mastery which really create something special here.