Jun 16, 2021
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By Dom Gourlay

A name can sometimes lead one into a false sense of security. Take The Death of Pop for instance, a moniker that carries on the fine distinction of mid ‘80s noiseniks Kill Ugly Pop and grebo stalwarts Pop Will Eat Itself. Both were inventively groundbreaking from a musical point of view, and neither were particularly easy to categorize or compartmentalize by genre.

The Death of Pop carry that facet too. Ambiguous in sound if coming from an albeit more genteel territory than either of the aforementioned. Nevertheless, their influences clearly emanate from a similar timeline. The band are partially in thrall to elegant 1980s synthpop, while doffing their caps to wistful electronica and more recent dreampop purveyors such as Wild Nothing and The Radio Dept. It makes for a distinguished if slightly formulaic sonic experience that would no doubt tick all the right boxes played live in a dark and sweaty club. Should that be allowed to happen any time soon.

The band is essentially the brainchild of brothers Angus and Oliver James, who started The Death of Pop some eight years ago as an antidote to life in a neglected seaside town. Seconds takes the lo-fi electronic mantle of its predecessor (2017’s Fed Up) where analogue synths are key. Aided and abetted by live drums throughout the record alongside the occasional blast of saxophone on the serene title track, Seconds feels like it could have been made at any point over the past four decades while sounding relevant in the present.

For a duo whose output has been so prolific in recent years, the pandemic must have hit them hard. Yet on the likes of “The House That We Built” and “First Day Of Six” their pop chops rise to the fore in immense fashion. (

Author rating: 6.5/10

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