Those Dancing Days – Daydreams & Nightmares

You could make a fetching argument that this second album by Nacka quintet Those Dancing Days is angrier and more obstinate than their 2008 debut. First single, the excellent “Fuckarias,” would be a great Exhibit A in such a case with its scowling put-down chorus “You’re an uninvited clowed, a foolish puppy with a too long tongue” and thunderously intense tempo. If you want to, you could call it their “Brianstorm” and get away with it.

But the truth is that TDD were never ones for compromise, and Daydreams & Nightmares is not so much a darker and edgier album as it is a  natural progression of what they already set in motion three years ago. TDD makes power pop with a disarming directness to it, laden with memorable melodies and particularly catching rhythms. From opener “Reaching Forward” it’s a solid ride almost all the way to the end, catchy and accessible without sacrificing any of the substance. At times they channel The Cure in “Forest Of Love” and other times Florence + The Machine in “Keep Me In Your Pocket,” constantly to great effect.

TDD have grown into a more unyielding unit as a band and shed their twee teenage skin with grace, creating a easily lovable collection of fun pop tunes. More importantly, they are clearly having a good time doing it and that joy seeps through the headphones and will infect you and you’ll thank them for it. The bar has been set and we’ll see who manages to fly over it in the remaining 9 months, but until then this is the best 2011 has to offer so far.

Listen to Daydreams & Nightmares on Spotify.

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