Review of Never Sleep Album by The Narcoleptic Dancers

If you're fond of elaborate fabrication to serve as a back story to your favourite new European popsters then what the Narcoleptic Dancers offer up is particularly inspired. Not since Sebastian Jacob Niccals supposedly fathered his bass playing off-spring Murdoc, or the music press went into over-drive speculating on the relationship between Jack & Meg White have we had such a well concocted family history.

The Narcoleptic Dancers Never Sleep Album

Whether Anton Louis Jr and Melody Van Kappers are half brother and sister, apparently born ten years apart but sharing the same Dad (Pro-footballer Johnny Van Kappers), matters not but it does add to the fun and intrigue created by this Franco-Dutch pair. The St Etienne/Haarlem duo have more than enough musically to bother with such fictitious creations but it also shows just how playful and cheeky they can be.

'Never Sleep' is The Narcoleptic Dancers debut full length album and succeeds last years EP, 'Not evident', the title track of which serves as a fitting opening to their album. Melody supplies the light and breezy vocals to accompany Anton's compositions as he provides the delicate, dreamy and on the whole deliriously happy go lucky musical instrumentation. Perfectly pitched, pure and precise pop is The Narcoleptic Dancers thing and they do it very well. Testament to this is the hook laden, catchy and amusing first single taken from the album, 'Rastakraut'..........."I'm sorry but I'm just really busy, see mate I'm just doing my girl thing."

Although it does sometimes feel a little one dimensional when heard in its entirety, 'Never Sleep' still provides such sweet and well balanced tunes. If you take any of them individually they all have a quirky and individual character of their own. 'Dusty Cowboy' ventures down a 'Pizzicato Five' route whilst 'Moon Thrill' is more folksie and nearer to Feist. 'Life Goes On' echoes the sound of The All Seeing Eye' and 'Unique Tree' touches upon many of today's contemporary left field female singer song-writers talents for blending seeming musical simplicity to well crafted lyrics. Invariably the resultant end product is a succinct slice of harmonious and particularly pleasurable pop.

'Again And Again', 'Bakerloo' and the Air like 'Little Crown' close out Never Sleep and continue to demonstrate why Ad-makers the world over are dribbling and swooning over The Narcoleptic Dancers tunes. Not since Moby delivered Go or Vince Clark composed......nearly anything, have we had such a collection of simple but effective hooks.

You may not know any of The Narcoleptic Dancers songs right now but believe me, whether bought out of choice, caught fleetingly on the radio, heard as the backdrop to the latest ad for some new cool gadget or used as a fittingly vacuous accompaniment to some teen drama, you will hear plenty of their music somehow. It may be light, it may be European, it may just be pop, but it is at least enjoyable.

Andrew Lockwood.

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