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Album Review: College – Heritage

In the world of music, France and electronic pop are the perfect combination. M83, Justice, Kavinsky and Daft Punk are to name but a few of the French electronic powerhouses and Nantes native David Grellier is no exception to this never-ending list. Heritage, the third full-length from College is packed full of dark, nostalgic, undoubtedly 80s-influenced tunes that provide you with the perfect soundtrack if you’re ever planning on taking a late night drive to a mysterious location. Heritage is dangerous and daring, and it invites you to create your own story, as long as it’s playing in the background.

The make up of the music- solid beats and melancholic melodies – combined with its aesthetics is what makes this album great. ‘Un Ville Silencieuse’ is three minutes of haunting minimalism; its sound aptly matching the title of the song, while ‘Tempete Magnifique’ is a maze of skin-crawling synths and solid beats, something which wouldn’t sound out of place in a gritty, slasher movie. Every track produces a different kind of emotion and images from Grellier’s surrounding metropolitan landscapes. His influences can be heard, allowing the listeners to absorb themselves into an alternate reality. Slower songs on the album such as ‘Un Long Sommeil’ and the smoldering ‘Frontiere’ offer something different to fast paced, tension-building tracks like ‘Depart’ and ‘Nouveau Chapitre’. There is an underlying building sense of urgency, one that continues until the record’s conclusion.

Grellier has mastered the art of slick, electro-synth pop, as this is atmospheric, auteured pop music at its finest, however it may find you wanting just a little something more. With the same approach applied to each track, it’s easy to forget parts of the album, which could’ve been strengthened by the use of vocals. We all remember ‘A Real Herofor it’s strong synth line and the captivating vocals of Electric Youth vocalist Bronwyn Griffin. Combined, the effect was mesmerising. There is no denying that Grellier has perfected the formula, but what’s the harm in experimenting once in a while?

- Clare Povey

Heritage is available now on Invada. You can purchase it here.

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