Formed in Dublin in over a shared love of David Bowie, Gary Numan, and Kraftwerk; Tiny Magnetic Pets (Paula Gilmer – lead vocals/synths, Sean Quinn – synths/guitars, Eugene Somers – drums/programming) have been honing their charming style of ambient electropop since 2009.
To date, they have released an album (‘Return Of The Tiny Magnetic Pets’, 2015) and a couple of EPs (‘Stalingrad’, 2015, and ‘The NATO Alphabet’, 2016).
Well-received in electronic music circles, the trio’s latest offering ‘Deluxe/Debris’ sees the group attempt to capitalise on their momentum with varying results.
Opening track Lost My Guiding Light sees Tiny Magnetic Pets channel ‘Ray of Light’-era Madonna with its bubbling, twinkling synths and bright, arpeggiated guitars and double-tracked, light, smooth vocals.
Up next is the eleven minute long Semaphore which for all its multitude of sonic and tonal shifts struggles to justify its length. Opening with an oscillating two-note analog synth patch, the track makes use of a recurring off-putting sample and though the melodies are pleasant, the lyrics are somewhat clichéd with lines like “please don’t wake me from this dream/the future’s here, it’s all we need”, and “here’s something that everyone should know/on with the daydream, on with the show”. The Kraftwerk-esque Radio On, on the other hand features some intriguing synth chord progressions, and an irresistible hook, displaying Tiny Magnetic Pets’ keen pop sensibilities.
Interlude Cold War Neon wouldn’t sound out of place in a modern noir film, not least for the French vocal samples but also the mournful keys and stems laid on top. Album centrepiece Here Comes The Noise comes to us in two guises, first as a gorgeous, dreamy slow-burner then again as a dance-pop number.
Later, Shadow Street pays homage to bossa nova stylings, but comes off as a vintage synth-driven Portishead throwaway.
It’s hard to dislike ‘Deluxe/Debris’. Gilmer’s voice is radio-perfect and the use of vintage analog synthesizers offers a nice throwback to those aforementioned innovators of decades past and undoubtedly bring a warmth that modern day electronic pop music just doesn’t have but that’s just it really. ‘Deluxe/Debris’ is an album of, by, and for fans of old school electronic pop records.