Franz Ferdinand may have kept a low profile in the last few years, but that hasn’t stopped Alex Kapranos from scouting new talent and dabbling behind the production desk. Citizens! are his latest find, and it’s easy to see why they caught the dapper front man’s eye. These boys are not only have a propensity for delivering delicious melodies and artistic flair, but they’re unashamedly ambitious too.
If Franz Ferdinand set out to reclaimed the dance floor for sharply dressed sexually ambiguous indie kids, then Citizens! are on a mission to make pop acceptable again. “Pop is not a dirty word. It’s a holy one” that’s their creedo, and while “True Romance” is unlikely to hit the top spot, it’s frustratingly engraining plink piano line, and it’s slyly sexy vocals will certainly have indie hearts a flutter.
Citizens! are a clever bunch. They clearly understand the importance of simplicity. They put obvious, addictive, repetitious elements in the foreground, but they layer in dirty synths, atonal guitars, quirky chimes, and horn solos to create a deceptive complex sound.
“True Romance” may be the obvious and addictive lead single, but the stupidly sexy deadpan of “Reptile” has a real sense of desperate drama and the danceable Bowie meets Franz b-side “(I’m In Love With Your) Girlfriend” proves undeniable. Dancefloor indie has been consumed by a sense of po-faced seriousness in recent years, Citizens! bring some fay androgynous sex appeal back to a stilted scene. It’s not a crime to be camp, pop is not a dirty word, and Citizens! are showing just how much fun it can be to let go of your preconceptions just cut loose. David Hayter
The Buzz: The Franz Ferdiand frontman may have just found his rightful heirs.
For Fans Of: The Rapture, Franz Ferdinand, and The Maccabees.