London-based trio Is Tropical choose to hide their faces behind bandanas worn as veils, a gesture that suggests they want to be judged on their music alone and not any personal traits that inevitably get attached to a band’s music, particularly if they are as young and hip as they plainly are. Their debut album, Native To, begins with their most recent single, ‘South Pacific’, a shimmering dance pop track that graced the Kitsuné collection last year and immediately invokes the 80s-influenced synth pop sound that permeates the rest of the record. Other standout tracks include ‘Clouds’, a mid-tempo record that imbues a dreamy quality befitting its title, and ‘Lies’, which wears its European influences on its sleeve and may soundtrack quite a few daytime festival dance tents.

The album has a smooth continuity, bridging the seconds between the end and start of each track – a sign of the music industry’s growing reluctance towards the download culture of the iTunes age – however it tails off towards the end, with similar-sounding productions adding to the fatigue of the listener along with weaker tracks like the miscalculated ‘Zombie’ and the formulaic ‘Think We’re Alone’.

Enjoyable enough though their music is, it is hard to get too excited about Is Tropical. From the veiled faces to the lo-fi production (which does not suit the dance pop genre) it all seems as if Is Tropical are trying hard to add something new; unfortunately they fall a little short and it feels like someone has been on the territory they tread already.

Native To is out now on Kitsuné/Co Op.

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