Independent release, 2011

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Brooklyn comes through again, this time in the form of the duo of Tamara Jafar and Joe Durniak, AKA Cultfever. The two have seemingly turned the idea of kinetic synth work and energetic layering into a science, and the pair's self-titled album is one of the best independent releases of 2011. It's an infectious pop outing, though not in the traditional sense. The duo makes good use of horns, strings, whistles, and all sort of interesting noisemakers into their feel good formula and waves of melody. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Though the album begins slowly with “Knewyouwell,” the track explodes into an upbeat anthem with vibrant synth, a solid beat, and soft vocals. Jafar's voice is one of the highlights here, her smooth pipes often being antipodal to the frenetic swells of noise against her voice. “Devil In The Drum” is a perfect example of this, a fuzzy, reverbed tune that works so well with the silky singing to yield a moody, atmospheric highlight. Though much of the album is synth driven, “Rouge” is a straightforward rock song, far from the art-pop leanings prevalent through most of this disc. Other standouts are “Spill,” a wild ride of romantic-tinted fun, and “Farm,” which has some surf rock undertones. The disc closes on “Collector,” an edgy and raw pop song that does a good job of summing up the entire tone of the album.

This album is energetic, dance friendly, and compellingly synth-heavy. Sometimes it is dreamy, other times it rocks and rolls, but altogether, the pair makes the most of looping and layering on this bedroom pop masterpiece. There is a lot going on at all times here, and it all unfolds so pleasantly on the senses. There is truly something for everyone here: for the casual listener it's infectious, charming, and pure ear candy. For the in-depth fan, the hypnotic synth and carefully calculated noise meshes the best aspects of indie rock electro-pop and '80s nostalgia into nine songs sans any filler.

Rating: A

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