Icona Pop: Membership Romantech overview – Swedish duo get edgier on first album in years

Swedish electropop duo Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, AKA Icona Pop, burst on to international dancefloors with their 2012 single I Love It. Exemplifying the shimmering maximalism of hyperpop, the anthemic monitor and their ensuing album This Is… Icona Pop launched the group as the right party-starters and earned them years of opening slots for pop juggernauts like Katy Perry and One Course.

A decade on from that debut, their second worldwide album, Club Romantech, finds the duo producing a mature sound that’s darker and extra propulsive. Earworming melodies are ever-present, from the scattered, melismatic syllables of piano home opener Fall in Like to the Charli XCX-style group chants of I Need You, however the rhythmic backings are far more durable and quicker. Standout monitor Shit We Do for Love soars into synth-based Eurotrance, whereas Stick Your Tongue Out references Benny Benassi’s early 00s electro-house; Need, that includes Joel Corry, channels a big-room sound with its reverb-laden percussion.

At 15 tracks, Membership Romantech can really feel relentless in its rhythmic vitality. But in the event you give up to the sound, it’s laborious to not discover the album infectiously danceable. It’s a courageous new world for Icona Pop, one which finds them nearer to Ibiza than Katy Perry.

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