Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 09.26.13 in Reviews


Icona Pop

When Swedish singers Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, aka Icona Pop, performed at Seattle’s Showbox during the beginning of an electronic-pop showcase — part of the city’s annual Decibel Festival — in September 2012, they played to fewer than 100 people. But those people were into it, bunched at the lip of the stage and chanting hard with every word. There was something appealingly scrappy and ready for anything Hjelt and Jawo exuded, even as the music itself prides itself on sheen. More than just an electro-pop group, they came across as electro-pop purists, the way a garage-rock band might be a different kind of purist.

A set polished as brightly as their breakout hit

Few songs have gotten to prove their own inexhaustibility in an extended space the way “I Love It” has — a hit that keeps bubbling up in the charts, not to mention in DJ sets via an endless array of remixes. It kicks THIS IS… ICONA POP off just right — a thrill ride you’d have to be Scrooge to resist. The rest is polished just as brightly, albeit to greater degrees of resistibility. The faster stuff — shock — is better overall; the Vegas-jaunt-ready “On a Roll” and the fizzy-lifting new wave synth hook of “Then We Kiss” are particularly spirited. Thirty-three minutes is plenty; they make Red Bull cans small for a reason, too.