When the adjective optimistic is used to describe electronic pop music, the sounds of treacly, unimaginative boy-girl duos with musical knowledge so primitive they make Beat Happening look like Beethoven in comparison often come to mind. A highly welcome change of pace, Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Altar Eagle pen mature, subtle electronic pop songs with a finely honed appreciation for sounds and dynamics. A perfect example of this understanding is “Carousel Ocean,” the first song off their soon-to-be-released sophomore album. The track begins with the absolutely mesmerizing sounds of either a glass harmonica or a synthesizer emulating a glass harmonica before a simple but highly effective programmed beat and singer Eden Hemming’s wistful vocals enter. The way Altar Eagle constantly cycle their sounds, keeping certain elements while introducing new ones, gives the song a compelling sense of flux. The final clincher of the song is its charged climax featuring a tremendously fun, exceptionably fat synthesizer passionately delivering its fantastic melody.
You can stream “Carousel Ocean” along with the intoxicatingly soporific “Parallel Lives” above. Altar Eagle’s Nightrunners is slated for release in October via Digitalis Recordings (digital and vinyl) and Crash Symbols (cassette with remixes).