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Instinct

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Instinct
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Audio CD, August 7, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Kaleidoscopic in the studio and a force majeure on stage, it's no surprise that Niki & The Dove's Malin Dahlström (vocals) and Gustaf Karlöf (keyboards) met while writing music for the theatre. While their roots are in theatre (and their live show includes three drummers, a bassist and two dancers flanking Malin's costumed, exuberant presence), they ultimately straddle the pop and dance worlds with devastating pop music that incorporates electronics and beats spanning from tribal to synth-pop to R&B. It is a riddle to work out exactly what the pair are as it should be. In our heart, we are a soul band, not even an electronic band, says Malin.

Niki & The Dove s pop and dance sides are both evident from the very first moments of Instinct, their debut album, as the opening track Tomorrow unfolds a subtle pulse with pan-Pacific textures underneath Malin s aching vocal, rising to a series of euphoric peaks as the vocals ramp up the feeling of a tribal ceremony. This was also the case with DJ, Ease My Mind, the duo s debut single released in February 2010. Malin s vocal has the urgency and vulnerability of epic 60s girl-group pop (The Shangri La's, say) fused to Niki & The Dove's unique version of joyful dance-floor release. Time and again, Instinct follows the same blueprint of intent a blend of tenderness, explosion, hypnosis and exhilaration - but never the same routine. Instinct is an exhilarating experience, like stepping into a piece of art.

Is expectation calling on Niki & The Dove, now that they are receiving international acclaim, including 5th place in the BBC Sound Of 2012 poll? Not in their minds. It s wonderful, an extremely big honour, and also unreal, Gustaf concludes. But we just make the music that we want to, and never compromise, so no pressure. It's not like we can change anything anyway. Not yet anyway!

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Tomorrow
  2. The Drummer
  3. In Our Eyes
  4. Gentle Roar
  5. Mother Protect
  6. Last Night
  7. Somebody
  8. Love to the Test
  9. DJ Ease My Mind
  10. Winterheart
  11. The Fox
  12. Under the Bridges
  13. The Beach (CD-only bonus track)
  14. All This Youth (CD-only bonus track)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 7, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sub Pop
  • ASIN: B0083EM256
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,434 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is synth pop at its freshest and finest. Its not your typical synth pop with keyboards being the main instrument. This has groovy basslines, pounding jungle beats, and a cool female voice. She sounds like nelly furtado mixed with stevie nicks. I know thats hard to picture but youll know what i mean when you give it a listen. Theres a sense of magic and wonder in this album. The cover art pretty much gives you an impression of what your about to hear. Its a journey through a magical jungle lol i know that sounds silly but it really is. I am a music junkie especially when it comes to electronic and rock music and i have never heard anything like this. This album is worth every penny. I insist you buy it if youre even remoteley interested.
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Format: Audio CD
This debut album from Swedish duo Niki & the Dove is an excellent slice of icy northern european electro/ synth pop. It is apparent they have a lot of talent as this album showcases solid songs, sleekly bewitching beats, and the singer is terrific. They have a good mix of the exuberant yet sophisticated pop of Robyn with the darker more experimental electro of various Karin Dreijer Anderssen projects such as No Knife and Fever Ray.

I'm grateful to have stumbled across this highly accomplished and mesmerizing album. If you like the aforementioned artists, or Goldfrapp, Bjork, Royksopp, Glasser, maybe Florence & the machine, etc., then I highly recommend checking this out.
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Format: MP3 Music
If you enjoy Twin Shadow, this album is for you. It definitely reminds me of the 80s, but not of any specific band. I haven't had time to absorb the entire album, but so far my favorites are "In Our Eyes," "Love to the Test," and "Under the Bridges." I know I'll probably become more infatuated with other songs as I listen to it over and over, but for now those are the songs I dig the most.

Also, I absolutely adore the album cover. I'm not incredibly familiar with the band (I just discovered them the other day through Amazon), so I don't know their style, but I feel like the cover is sort of tongue-in-cheek, which kills me. They just need to add a wolf in the background howling at the moon and then I'll love it more! Reminds me of Jack Black wearing a Yanni T-shirt in "High Fidelity." Priceless visual irony. Unless you're tired of hipster irony (I kind of am), but still, it makes me laugh.

Listen to your heart. This album will make all your wildest dreams come true.

Edited on 4/3/2013: I've been obsessing about this album and I needed to make an update now that I've had a chance to absorb the entire thing. "Tomorrow" is probably my top song on the album. "Taylor," "Everybody's Talking," "Winterheart," "DJ Ease My Mind," and "Last Night" are also excellent. These songs didn't hit me as strongly at first, but they're very good and will probably sustain my interest longer. I'm disgustingly impressed with this band and I'm wondering what the crap they do over in Sweden to produce such stellar artists. Must be in the water. Or those extreme winters. They have extreme winters in Sweden, don't they?
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Honestly, I came to Niki and The Dove a little late in the game, after I saw them perform as a supporting act for Twin Shadow in October 2012. Their live performance is what drew me to this album - the arrangements are incredibly tight and perfect bouncy synth-pop dance tunes to sprinkle throughout your day. Plus, the lead singer just brings so much energy to these songs, it's difficult not to get pulled in to the earth-mother tribal atmosphere her lyrics are trying to create. Yes, the music borrows heavily from the sounds of the 80's (no surprise they were touring with Twin Shadow) but it's also alot of fun; check out some of the remixes of The Drummer and Mother Protect on YouTube for examples. However, my favorite track off the album is one of the more poignant moments expressed in the song, "Winterheart." Hopefully, this moody reflection on love gained and lost is an indication of the new directions the band might take in the future.
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Format: Audio CD
Every once and a while a hidden gem surfaces and you're, like, "Where have you been all my life?" Well, this CD is definitely one of those hidden gems. I wish CDs this good would just glow so you'd know what to by. You've heard Florence and the Machine and Marina and the Diamonds, but out of this trio Niki and the Dove are definitely my favorite. There is not one song on this album that is lackluster. From an outdoor concert to a club to your car this CD will invoke one of these amazing moods. You will not regret buying this album!
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Format: Audio CD
Sure am glad I stumbled upon this album buried somewhere in a 'Best of 2012' list. It should be close to the top of that sort of list in my opinion. I guess it's synth-pop, but this album really transcends any sort of genre pigeon-holing and creates a sound all its own. And what a sound it is. Evocative of Kate Bush at times. Some very epic moments. Stand out tracks include 'Love To the Test', 'Winterheart', 'The Fox', and 'Under the Bridges'. Highly recommended.
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By TechnoBears on December 21, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
This is an awesome album. I can't get over how much she reminds me of Kate Bush. I like every single song on this album. There isn't one dud. I still can't stop listening to this album over and over. All the songs are so different from each other. The songs that stand out on this album are "The Fox", "Tomorrow", "The Drummer" and "DJ, Ease My Mind." Get this album! You will not regret it!
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