New Young Pony Club - The Optimist

2010-10-13 20:11
Read our interview with NYPC here.

Dark. That’s the word circling New Young Pony Club’s latest album The Optimist like a repetitive Internet vulture. But more than that, it’s less gimmicky, less disco and more subtle, more substance and more depth.

That said, after Fantastic Playroom, Barney the Dinosaur would sound dark.

In 2007, NYPC got caught up in the short-lived “nu-rave” phenomenon, playing NME’s “Indie Rave Tour” with CSS, Klaxons and The Sunshine Underground. But the problem with media-made hype bubbles is that they burst – fast! So NYPC have gone back to the stables, reworked their sound and distanced themselves from the glow sticks and neon tracksuit tops.    

A lot of songs on The Optimist start with menacing, Joy Division-sounding bass lines. The dark tone gives NYPC a harder edge to hang their less helium-laced-sounding synth hooks on. Tahita Bulmer’s vocals are deeper as well, less candy-coated, more grownup and thoughtful.

“Dolls” sounds like it borrows a melody from Nine Inch Nails, only, delivered in Bulmer’s less serial killer vocals with a thick coat of NYPC, hipster-jangling, synth-pop jams. Slow-building, guitar-free album standout “Stone” is The Optimist’s moody centrepiece. Bulmer’s broody vocals remind me of Karen O or Siouxsie Sioux.    

Doom and gloom aside, The Optimist is an album of lights and darks. “Chaos” sounds like a sleepier b-side from Fantastic Playroom. And “We Want To” is all about the good time groove. Still, the darkness permeates. Especially with brooding, five minute closer “Architect of Love.” Is that someone playing an angle grinder at the end?

Catch New Young Pony Club at Rocking the Daisies and Rocking the Gardens this October. 

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.