Great pop music should be inherently timeless. The entire concept is predicated on tones and melodies that appeal to the masses at large; music crafted in broad enough strokes to cross generations and personal taste. It’s why we still wax poetic about artists like The Beatles or Michael Jackson decades beyond the release of their masterpieces. Pop is nebulous, a fickle concept to pin down, but it’s undeniable when you hear it done right. It’s what makes Seattle band Tomten’s latest album Viva Draconia, out Sept. 28 via the band’s own Plume Records, such an engrossing and immediate listen.
This isn’t Tomten’s first pop rodeo. Last year the band released the ambitious and decadent Cremation Songs, an album which scope was only matched by its quantity of hooks. This time around, they’ve pared down the tracks and honed in their craft further. It’s a technique that pays off, resulting in the band’s most accessible and loveliest works yet. That this record sounds like it could’ve come out in 2018 or 1968 speaks volumes to the prowess of its songwriters. Even with the inclusion of synthesizers prominently in the mix, Viva Draconia never loses itself from its core – cementing each wondrous track in gorgeous melodies with equally blissful musical arrangements.
Tomten guitarist/vocalist Brian Noyes-Watkins shares his thoughts on the album’s creation:
KEXP has an advance stream of the record below. Listen to the album before its Sept. 28 release below.
The Seattle trio returns with their third album, titled Skin on October 12th. The video for the title track is a taste of their pummeling live show, with a few surreal surprises.
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