Lydia Jenkin is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: Urbantramper, Internet Freedom Is Love

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Album cover for 'Internet Freedom Is Love'. Photo / Supplied
Album cover for 'Internet Freedom Is Love'. Photo / Supplied

Wellingtonian collective Urbantramper have been in existence for around 10 years, revolving around the songwriting talents of lead singer Lake.

Having recently returned from a songwriting sojourn in France, he has assembled a new three-piece line-up, and taken a new direction for their fifth album - they've eliminated guitars, and embraced multiple lush layers of keys, midi and percussion with quite wonderful results.

There's a more joyous disposition to their "electric-utopian" sound, and their propulsive rhythms, catchy melodic hooks, and effortless vocals revel in the freedom of a large, broad, musical canvas.

They're a bit hippie in some of their sentiments (hence the album title), but also have a sense of humour. They have track titles like Kate Bush Saved My Life, and Stephen Dedalus Is My Homeboy (which is an early highlight), with lyrics that carefully jest at themselves, and craft beer-drinking creative types.

Then there's subtle protest song Wireless Warmth, and Je Ne Crois Pas En L'Avenir (I Do Not Believe In the Future) which introduce a slightly more dystopian dissatisfaction, just to offset the idealistic pop bent.

It's not breaking any entirely new ground but if you're into the dreamy, colourful sound of Pitchfork favourites like M83, the Shins, Yeasayer, and Choir of Young Believers, then you'll enjoy this local equivalent.

Stars: 4.5/5
Verdict: Beautifully executed dreamy electro-pop collection


- NZ Herald

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