Swedish-bred and Denmark-based synth project LUST FOR YOUTH (aka Hannes Norrvide) has made a name for himself by trading in cold, dark, lo-fi goth tunes which only hinted broadly at pop under swaths of heavy reverb and distortion. That is, before the release of INTERNATIONAL. This new album, recorded by an expanded three-piece lineup with additional playing by ICEAGE’s Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, trades in a lot of the doom and gloom in favor of one of the purest expressions of classic synth-pop I’ve heard all year.
On INTERNATIONAL, the dour and ominous clouds that seemed to hover above LUST FOR YOUTH have parted, setting the stage for a crisp, sunny and crystalline collection of pop songs which fall broadly into the category of classic acts like PET SHOP BOYS and NEW ORDER, but also squarely into the ever-intriguing “Scandinavians obsessed with sunny tropical rhythms” category (see: STUDIO, JJ, AIR FRANCE, TOUGH ALLIANCE, CEO, JENS LEKMAN etc).
A pair of instrumentals and a long spoken piece occasionally take things to a more introspective place, but serve mainly as breathing room between the focused, buoyant pop tunes which make up the rest of the album. INTERNATIONAL is a dramatic re-invention, but one that offers big rewards for the listeners on standout tracks like “Illume”.
LUST FOR YOUTH are playing at Church on Thursday (June 18th) with AMEN DUNES, HURRICANES OF LOVE and GOODBYE SPACE. INTERNATIONAL is available now from the always-reliable Sacred Bones Records, including a deluxe edition with remixes by HELM, SILENT SERVANT, CULT OF YOUTH and more.