Hailing from Bordeaux, France, the elegant synth-pop of Banquise is showcased in enthralling and eclectic form through their new album, People Under the Sun. From the disco and funk-tinged crawl of “Present Has Nothing Wrong” to the Hot Chip-like pop wizardry of “Be Cool”, People Under the Sun is a very consistent release that shows Banquise as capable of very great things. In addition to extremely polished production reminiscent of Johan Agebjörn‘s Italo-disco reverence, and an eclectic stylistic palate that takes advantage of Banquise’s synth-led format, Banquise have a penchant for stirring arrangements that blend Prefab Sprout’s melodic swoons with the tightly constructed electronica of Hot Chip, Sally Shapiro, or Röyksopp.
My favorite from the release, “The Tramp and the Radio”, begins with a serene, starry-eyed synth pad and a whirring yet lush arpeggio. Kick drums and an infectious bass line, which reminds of Prefab Sprout’s Jordan album in its theatrical grandeur, show this track as more than an atmospheric flex though. It’s an excellent synth-pop maneuver, one whose excellence is marked most prominently by a powerful chorus with a glistening infectiousness. Banquise excel at the little flourishes in compositions, like a halted bass movement or additional space-arpeggio, that help make People Under the Sun and highlights like “The Tramp and the Radio” shine very brightly. Stream the release in its entirety below: