Two years since their last album, Out Of Touch, In The Wild, Dutch Uncles’ have remained unmistakable; their music still embodied by their use of distinct electronic sounds, combined with meticulously lush string parts, confident bass lines and strikingly luring vocals.
Smirking smiles are bound to appear from the outset, with first track ‘Babymaking’ providing an unusual start to O Shudder. The exquisite strings do not quite hide the slightly awkward practical parenthood tips; leading into an album full of unfiltered thoughts straight from a band approaching their thirties and unashamedly embracing that.
Of course this album has those finely experimental orchestral moments the band are known for, with xylophone and harp beautifully placed amidst adapted synths,especially in ‘Drips’. Yet the band maintain their ever so slightly obscure pop sound at the core. Drifting into a slightly dated feel, ‘Decided Knowledge’, ‘Don’t Sit Back (Frankie Said)’ and ‘Be Right Back’ throw us back to grooving retro pop vibes. Additionally, three-piece band Stealing Sheep feature on ‘Be Right Back’, heightening the anthemic grooves and finishing off the album, ensuring the dynamic and fresh momentum is sustained right until the end.
Sandwiched amongst Dutch Uncles’ habitual musical traits, the band have allowed themselves to explore slightly deeper with O Shudder, allowing freedom to creep in from within. ‘Tidal Weight’ perfectly illustrates this, with the flexibility of the track fighting through the rigidly angular rhythms and shapes that Dutch Uncles so perfectly produce.