I'm new around here, so I have to assume that not everybody knows exactly where I stand on every single band out there. Even when it should be obvious as night and day. So, then, my historical opinions on two bands:
Owl City: This doofy kid is the devil, basically. A saccharine-dripping, AutoTuned, fifth-generation photocopy of Ben Gibbard's electro-pop act the Postal Service but with lyrics that make ol' Gib read like that Kerouac he's always yapping about and rote melodies that make Jimmy Tamberello sound like fucking Bela Bartok or something. Kill on sight.
Architecture in Helsiniki: Delightful! A gaggle of Australians who did two albums of tipsy, twee, band-geeks-run-amok-after-school whisper pop, complete with charts of what instruments feature on which songs. Then they lost a couple members, swapped some French horns for synth pads, and developed an unexpected, playful growl for their last album, 2007's good fun Places Like This.
So, I was a little surprised by the latter band's new single, released earlier this month, "Contact High."
Right off the bat, it's more synthetic-sounding and processed than anything the band's done yet, the singing warm against a icy cool background. BUT THEN! THAT CHORUS! Christ on a fucking crocodile if it doesn't sound like the template of an Owl City joint, all insubstantial AutoTune and simple, sing-songy melody. Only . . . I like it. Like, a lot. Like, walking down the street last night listening to it on my headphones and I wanted to start busting out Singin' in the Rain-style freestyle walking and dancing on the sidewalks and rock walls of MLK. (Probably a good thing to resist this urge.)
Essentially: I am somewhat dubious about Architecture in Helsinki's new sound palette and vocal treatments, but I think this is simply a fantastic little pop song. I'm not sure what it bodes for the rest of their forthcoming album Moment Bends, but it's at least a killer single. (Also dubious: Is anyone else getting a little Zac Pennington [of Parenthetical Girls] vibe off the dude in the video?)
Architecture in Helsinki perform in Seattle at Neumos on June 6--fair warning.