In the days before they took to singing the obvious in iambic pentameter, the Pet Shop Boys had a good line in danceable poptronica. They knew how to combine soaring pads with bouncing basslines, drawing on Liza and Dusty for influence in the vocal lines.
Those days are gone, but a new generation of artists has absorbed their classic stylings. Julian & Marina have shown the way, but they are not alone.
Meet Francesca e Luigi, a duo from the Left Coast of Sweden. Jessica Brannefors and Martin Permer work a distinctly Italo angle, but with British DNA in their catchy electronic pop.
They have just released their first album, Disco Darkness, in the midst of a pandemic. The second track to emerge was a remix of their very first song, “Watch Me Dance Tonight,” and it shows them shimmering like the light from a disco ball. Brannefors’ vocals are as sweet as a bar of Marabou but as elegant as the first sip of Cristal. You will want to rewind to savour the ARP-infused bassline and uplifting chorus.
The album is not a million Swedish miles from Dubstar’s work, either. “Everyday in Love” finds Brannefors following in the path cut by Sarah Blackwood’s famous vocals. Love is a lonely place, but you will be in good company with Disco Darkness.