MP3: Dutch Uncles – “Bellio”

Dutch Uncles

Dutch Uncles sound like a collision between Field Music’s punchy art-rock and Hot Chip’s danceable chirpiness, complemented by graceful synth arpeggios and tropical marimbas. It makes sense they’re signed to Memphis Industries, the same label of Field Music and Tokyo Police Club. The cuts on Dutch Uncles’ upcoming album Out of Touch in the Wild are fun and memorable, like the best material from their comparable brethren. A track like “Godboy” reminds of Field Music’s stop-go approach, where bursts of lavish arrangements appear after bouts of arpeggio-based keyboard minimalism. Dutch Uncles’ vocals are playfully similar to the Brewis brothers as well, with airy vocal samples being cohesively implemented over string adornments and perky percussion. In the same vein, on an effort like the marimba-led “Threads”, it’s easy to hear shades of Alexis Taylor’ suave falsetto. The words ‘suave’ and ‘falsetto’ are rarely in the same sentence, but Hot Chip and Dutch Uncles are exceptions with their smart interpretations of pop.

One of my favorite tracks off Out of Touch in the Wild is the vibrant “Bellio”, which is certainly more in the electronica sphere than rock-oriented efforts like “Godboy”. As a result, it compares to Hot Chip more than Field Music, but analogies are relatively moot for a track this inventive. A persistent piano backing meshes with a shifting bass before glossy synths emerge during the chorus, breathing extraordinary life into the track with buzzing synth-bass overlapping and rhythmically infectious vocal sampling. This is really fun stuff, off a remarkably consistent album. Hype Machine is streaming the entire thing below:

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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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