12 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Singer Malin Dahlström and instrumentalist Gustaf Karlöf create a somewhat mystifying (and magical) blend of arena-worthy dance pop and compelling, edgy electronic music. It's a gorgeous, shimmering mix that can both elate and make one retreat inward; it's a heady elixir of Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks, and fellow Swedes The Knife. A random sampling of this stunning debut will reveal stratosphere-reaching vocals, clattering and hammering percussion, echoes of decades-old Euro-pop, and melodies that hold for days. Go for "The Fox" first; the verses are somewhat haunting, with tremeloed wisps of what sounds like cello and a martial yet sensual rhythm driving Dahlström's pleading vocals. Veering from pop diva tunes ("Love to the Test," "Somebody") to arty, expressive constructs ("The Gentle Roar") and mesmerizing, otherworldly baubles of pop perfection ("Last Night," "Mother Protect"), Instinct could launch Niki & The Dove into orbit. They have a lot in common with Lykke Li, another Swedish purveyor of sophisticated and deeply textured pop music that even pop naysayers end up embracing.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Singer Malin Dahlström and instrumentalist Gustaf Karlöf create a somewhat mystifying (and magical) blend of arena-worthy dance pop and compelling, edgy electronic music. It's a gorgeous, shimmering mix that can both elate and make one retreat inward; it's a heady elixir of Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks, and fellow Swedes The Knife. A random sampling of this stunning debut will reveal stratosphere-reaching vocals, clattering and hammering percussion, echoes of decades-old Euro-pop, and melodies that hold for days. Go for "The Fox" first; the verses are somewhat haunting, with tremeloed wisps of what sounds like cello and a martial yet sensual rhythm driving Dahlström's pleading vocals. Veering from pop diva tunes ("Love to the Test," "Somebody") to arty, expressive constructs ("The Gentle Roar") and mesmerizing, otherworldly baubles of pop perfection ("Last Night," "Mother Protect"), Instinct could launch Niki & The Dove into orbit. They have a lot in common with Lykke Li, another Swedish purveyor of sophisticated and deeply textured pop music that even pop naysayers end up embracing.

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