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At the time of writing, it’s pouring down and freezing cold outside.  But indoors, the skies are blue, the beaches are sandy and it’s only the beer that’s cold, because L I S B O N’s ‘Bluelove’ (or Blue Love, or even B L U E L O V E for those with an addiction to caps lock and the space bar – M O N E Y, I’m looking at you) is suavely sidling up to the bar and buying our ears another frozen daiquiri.

Positively dripping with watery metaphor, the latest digital release from the Whitley Bay youngsters proves that they’ve absorbed every second of their dads’ Duran Duran albums, blended them up with the ethos of contemporary Medphoria enthusiasts such as Friendly Fires and Fenech-Soler, slowed the drum machine down, and popped out Bluelove.

And I do mean drum machine – the palette here is as sparkly a piece of synth-pop as you’re likely to hear this year, glistening with the sugared sheen of multi-layered FM synths and handfuls of clean, palm-muted guitar licks.  The fake drums are a particular highlight, gated and reverbed to within an inch of their lives, panned hard left and right, making that virtual percussion work hard to earn its keep.

Bluelove hits the zeitgeist on the nose – there’s clear comparisons with something like Chocolate from fellow shiny-1980s enthusiasts The 1975, but if anything L I S B O N come off as a bit cooler, a little more relaxed, perhaps trying a little less hard.  As if all they want to do is sit at that beach bar and knock out a few tunes as the sun sets.  And with rain like this, don’t we all?

Words by Martin Sharman

Tipped by Joe Frankland

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