My Favorite Robot - Atomic Age

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  • It would be easy to lump in My Favorite Robot with Art Department and their label, No.19 Music: both are based in Canada, both started in 2008, both have, on occasion, released the same artists. But while Art Department have increasingly wide appeal, My Favorite Robot have always kept a narrow sonic scope so that, in 2013, they are a reliable outlet for carefully crafted, synth-heavy sounds with real personality. An indie sensibility permeates their output—not in the punk-funk way of, say, DFA, but more in the moody songwriter style of a band like Soft Cell. If you aren't convinced, just listen to their latest album, Atomic Age, released on No.19 Music. Right away it's clear something has changed since the trio's last full-length, We Come In Pieces. Where that was a rather jumbled collection of machine-driven tracks, Atomic Age is a more coherent vision, one that, you imagine, was never primarily concerned with the dance floor. As such it's a captivating listen that travels some distance without ever losing touch with My Favorite Robot's signature aesthetic. That aesthetic is one of buffed metallic hues and muted stainless steels, scuffed golden chords and widescreen vistas. At times, radiant synths rise up around you like shiny high-rises in an urban metropolis. Atomic Age is a serious and insular affair: Voytek Korab's voice sounds tortured among the drawn-out and heat-damaged synth chords, and there is a very real sense of finality in the air from start to finish. But just when the dystopian vibe starts to feel too heavy, we get some well-placed lighthearted moments, such as "Centreofattentionaut" with its playful hi-hats and languorous bassline. On the whole, Korab's diamond-tipped tones perfectly match the mood of the music. Just once, on "Space Capsule," he sounds a little too strained, but the final track, "The War To End All Wars," finds him in top form—suitably morose yet mildly optimistic, just like the album itself.
  • Tracklist
      01. The Circus 02. Here Tonight 03. Looking For Frost 04. Ride 05. Space Capsule 06. Missing Time feat. Chloe 07. Home feat. Clayton Steele 08. The Walk 09. Centreofattentionaut 10. Atomic Age 11. Sharpest Tongue 12. The War To End All Wars