Review: Future/Perfect – Dirty Little Secrets

This is what it’s all about for Softsynth. We have written about that fine line, that sweet spot of music that is exactly what we love most about the electronic scene. It’s not pure synthpop (though god bless to the subgenre, it was our gateway drug to electronic music and many of our favourite bands fall squarely into the category), it’s not goth, nor Darkwave, nor industrial – it’s a blend of a few different things.

The thing that drew us to our dear, dear (departed?) Technoir and even more so the Depeche Mode of yesteryear (1984-90) was they captured this very specific sliver of the electronic pie so well – melodic with clear synth pop influences, but with more edge, more attitude, …more bass.

There was a darkness there that took nothing away from it’s melodic strength but added a more compelling extra element. It’s our absolute favourite sound.

Into the breach step Welch duo Future/Perfect and they have delivered an awesome debut, one that stands as among the best of 2010 already.In the end it all comes down to songwriting and boy do these folks “get it”. They know exactly the formula to creating this stuff and they do it flawlessly. Rebecca Morgan has a perfect voice for this style of music, a little gritty, a little dark but still lovely and powerful. Simon Owen has a natural feel for keys and his knowledge and respect for the genre comes through in each and every one of these songs.

Lead single. “The Hunter” is a perfect electronic pop song, bar none. Bonus track “Discover Me” has a beautiful, meloncholic lyric and an amazing melody. “Not in Control” is a lovely mid-tempo slow burn. “Confessions” is a gorgeous, moving ballad with beautiful synth washes that create exactly the right mood for the sad lyrics. Song after song is a delight. (The band are making some noise about their next album leaning more on experimental sounds and samples and that would make their sound even better – what works here could only be improved by a little more variety in the soundscape.)

It’s not a flawless album. Queen of the Dancefloor sounds a bit too “by the numbers” and some tracks, like “Fragile” don’t quite rise to the standard the rest of the album has established, but you know what? On an album this good these are minor quibbles. Bottom line: this is a remarkable electronic album utterly getting it right. We wrote recently that the only band we go out of the way to “champion” is Venus Hum, but after giving Dirty Little Secrets a few listens we may have a new addition to that quiver. If you enjoy electronic music, buy this album. Seriously. No, seriously, buy. This. Album.

Watch: The Hunter

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