Already causing a stir in the US, alternative pop duo Thumpers debut album is tipped to make a splash in the UK this summer. The media has struggled so far in trying to describe their sound and after a fair few listens, I’m still perplexed. That though, is no bad thing and Galore is certainly a very refreshing record.
Soaked in summer nostalgia and concocted from a baffling blend of pop and hip-hop influences, Galore takes off with formidable pace and an irrepressible energy.
Set to a back drop of drum loops, keyboard trills and synths, the echoey, ethereal vocals of ‘Dancing’s Done’ and ‘Sound Of Screams’ are almost chanted. It’s a strange combination, the fast pace with which the lines are delivered and the soft, gentle tone of this delivery. It takes some getting used to, but this vocal style is the consistent motif running through a varied and often surprising album. The choral, spiritual atmosphere it creates holds the twelve tracks together nicely.
The distant feel to the vocals though can make it difficult to connect with the lyrics, which especially on ‘Tame’ and ‘Roller’ are somewhat lost under the chaos and confusion of so many instrumental layers.
Slower number ‘Now We Are Sixteen’ strips a lot of this away, relying on a simpler undulating drum rhythm that gives the song an R ‘n’ B quality, echoed in the additional female vocals. The building momentum of dancier track ‘The Wilder Wise’ is pretty infectious and the sharper vocals on the verses of title track ‘Galore’ feel more substantial and allow the listener to really engage with the joyful, party sentiment it encapsulates.
Closers ‘Running Rope’ and ‘Together Now’ are calmer and less frenzied in composition, and while the former is a little lacking in lyrical interest, the latter has a wonderfully soulful and cathartic ambience, akin to a lazy walk home on a warm, still night after a jubilant summer revelry.
Overall, Galore is an incredibly uplifting record and while the depth and complexity of the instrumentation is sometimes slightly overbearing, the distinctive sound Thumpers have created is an invigorating addition to the indie/pop cross-over scene.