The Department first came to our attention with a clever video for the catchy track, “As If Transformed.” The Anglo-Swedish duo of Rob Green and Magnus Lindström have now put out their first album, Alpha, which offers two versions of that song and another eleven poptronica tracks in one package.
The Department’s 80s influences loom as large as the hairstyles of that period, and touches of Depeche Mode, A-Ha and Duran Duran can be detected in songs like “Don’t Give Up” and “Glass Houses.” Rather than being derivative, this stylised approach is a nod to the band’s roots, and their album successfully combines that sound and feel with a series of infectious original songs.
For a debut album, Alpha is a strong effort. There are great sounds crafted by Lindström, using his collection of old-school synths, while Green has developed an 80s style that owes much to the dark wave as to his professed influences, New Order and The Smiths.
Alpha can be found on Bandcamp.