Tuesday 29 March 2016

Lust For Youth - Compassion

Article by KevW

When Hannes Norrvide began Lust For Youth a few years ago, he initially crafted drone-based synthscapes, but these gradually morphed into poppier songs by the time 2012's 'Growing Seeds' album was made. 'Compassion' is a record that continues this quest to create alternative pop tracks that lurk in the shadows of the underground, just peeping out to glance towards the mainstream at times. The '80-influenced electro-pop craze seems to have passed, and with the less chart-oriented artists of that scene disbanded of missing in action (we're still waiting for that second album, Mirrors!), Lust For Youth are doing a good job of filling the void.

You can pick out early electronic pioneers, from Kraftwerk to Depeche Mode and Blancmange, as key influences, and the retro vibe is evident from the off, as 'Stardom' introduces shimmering synths and catchy melodies underpinned by a darkwave sensibility, and 'Sudden Ambitions' is in a similar vein. You can almost taste the hairspray and dry ice. It's perhaps this side of Lust For Youth that's most interesting, but when they opt for more outright pop tunes such as 'Limerence' and 'Tokyo' there's also something engaging to be found, possibly in the way that a certain industrial edge is added thanks to a vocal delivery that stays true to the genre's foundations rather than its more commercial period (not to mention slightly oddball/creepy lyrics such as "I hang around at bus stops...").

The icy 'Easy Window' is perhaps closer to those early soundscapes and more experimental moments such as this help keep a good balance, with 'Display' being another atmospheric number which introduces a female co-vocal. At the other end of the spectrum, 'Better Looking Brother' swirls in some '90s dance music. Closer 'In Return' is another interesting tune, this time pushing sampled speech to the front. It could be argued that 'Compassion' may be a little too left-field for the masses, yet a little mainstream for those whose tastes are a bit less sugar-coated. In reality though, people of most tastes love a good pop tune, and in Lust For Youth they might just find a happy medium.

Lust For Youth's website

Buy: 'Compassion'

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