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Don't Want to Sleep

FM Belfast

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Album Review

For FM Belfast's second album Don’t Want to Sleep, the Icelandic synth pop group continue in the style of their last album How to Make Friends, incorporating ‘80s hip-house sparkle and EBM into more modern, late-‘90s electro-pop beats that aren’t a distant cry from Postal Service, Junior Boys, or Freezepop. While nothing sounds quite as trendy as, say Kesha, in a similar way, they flirt with irony. Due to the usage of horn-stabs, staccato synthetic pianos, and throbbing bass grooves that were staples for dance groups like Deee-lite and Bizarre Inc., FM Belfast seem more retro than their contemporaries. Even so, the decision to wear throwback jerseys seems to be completely intentional, and it boosts the fun factor, which seems to be the key reason for their existence. Arni, Loa, and their pals are having fun rehashing the sounds of their youth. In a way, their child-like exuberance makes the album feel targeted to a young audience. “I Don’t Wanna Go to Bed Either” takes on a kid-friendly rave approach that boasts all the cuteness of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” as a prepubescent tantrum anthem, straight off the script of a Yo Gabba Gabba episode. Elsewhere, it’s less bratty, but the bouncy, sugary sweet beats, warm keyboard textures, and lush, water-sprite vocals make the record the epitome of cute; lively enough for a romper room dance party, and appealing to adults too.

Biography

Formed: 2005 in Reykjavík, Iceland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Icelandic electro-pop group FM Belfast made their album debut in 2008 with How to Make Friends. Founded in 2005 by Árni Rúnar Hlöðversson and Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir, the group expanded in 2006 with the addition of Árni Vilhjálmsson and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason (the latter of the experimental electronic group Múm) for a live performance at that year's Iceland Airwaves festival. The size of the group varies from performance to performance, with anywhere from three to eight members comprising FM...
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Don't Want to Sleep, FM Belfast
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