Icona Pop have been flourishing in the last two years; perfecting their craft through a series of EPs and singles, it was for their smash hit (and first track on the album) ‘I Love It’, penned by Charli XCX, that they found fame and commercial success. Fast forward twelve months from when the track was first unveiled, it had gone to number one almost everywhere, but it was only after it stormed the charts in the US when it was included in HBO’s Girls that people in the UK started to listen up. Having already released a self-titled album in their native Sweden in November 2012, the duo are now gearing up for their first international LP, This Is… Icona Pop.
Icona Pop… the clue is in the name. The duo are basically genre-defining for pop music in 2013, and it’s difficult to think of any other act that even comes close to them in completely embodying and exemplifying what pop music is. This Is… Icona Pop is less of an album, and more of a compilation, in the sense that these are basically just 11 songs worthy of being singles, all stuck together to show how extraordinarily clever and high-spirited this duo are.
Kicking off with SIX dance floor anthems back to back, the music which they are showcasing is predictable and indulgent, but nothing short of fabulous. New single ‘All Night‘ is a lyrical innuendo, coupled with the vital reference to “smashing the club”: a theme which foreseeably runs through many of their tracks. Fans of Icona Pop will also be familiar with the tracks which follow: ‘We Got The World‘, ‘Ready For The Weekend‘, ‘Girlfriend‘ (a re-working of 2ac’s ‘Me And My Girlfriend‘) and ‘In The Stars‘ which perform well with convulsing, boisterous synths and euphoric verse-to-chorus drops.
Marking a change of pace, ‘Just Another Moment’ is a standout track as the closest that Icona Pop get to ballads. A piano-led track with delicate vocals, it’s a sobering account of lost-love and getting on with life, and this serves to indicate the beginning of the comedown. ‘Hold On’ might still be full of synthy goodness but has a sorrow-filled undercurrent, as they sing about not wanting to end a relationship that has become toxic.
It’s a record of two halves, but the final lines of the breakneck speed, crazy closing track ‘Then We Kiss’ sum up the collection perfectly. In a frenzy of synths and kazoos, they chant “All I want to do is have a good time, and then we kiss!” and that’s what the album is all about. Let’s face it, Icona Pop just want to make fun pop music that people can dance to, and will be the music which people will snog to. Wall-to-wall explosions of synths and euphoric melodies, it’s exactly what a modern-day pop record should be. From the catchy ditties of “doo doo doo” in ‘On A Roll’ to the full-blown chorus of ‘In The Stars’ this album will have you singing, humming, whistling and dancing for a long time.
This Is… Icona Pop is streaming now over at Pitchfork. It is due to be released in the UK on 28th October 2013 through Atlantic Records.