Dave Simpson 

Beat Connection: The Palace Garden – review

Beat Connection's sunny, electronic pop is as welcome as sunshine in the British summer – but perhaps equally short-lived, writes Dave Simpson

If Beat Connection's first full-length album had appeared two weeks ago, it would have gone down like a barbecue in November in soggy, gloomy Britain. Now, though, summer's belated arrival makes their sunny electronic sounds ideal. Waves of synthesisers crash like warm air; everything from maracas to steel drums to tugging basslines are employed to give The Palace Garden the atmosphere of sun-kissed afternoons and endless beaches. Based in coastal – though hardly seaside – Seattle, the duo's breezy grooves lie between Daft Punk and Friendly Fires, with the lovely Saola ("champagne glasses in the ether/ I can't remember your name either") similar in atmosphere to the latter's Hawaiian Air, the setting switched from transatlantic flight to late-night club. On some tracks, a hazy, almost indiscernible hint of melancholy mirrors that August feeling that summer is creeping away. The album loses its way in the middle, as sound usurps song, but Beat Connection's more outright pop tunes – the steel drum-led Further Out and title track's tales of "grooving to the rhythm of the soft light" – could make anybody want to hit the beach.


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