Taking aim at a three-dimensional sound on their debut and nailing it, Pallers have managed to create an ambient dreamscape at once nocturnal yet luminescent and futuristic yet anciently mystical. With serene beats, warm vocals and iridescent synths, the single Come Rain, Come Sunshine foreshadows a debut well worth the wait.
(...) the two make new wave pop that’s similar to other duos, including Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, and The Postal Service. That said, the music found on The Sea of Memories doesn’t sound too terribly different from Angergård’s other current projects. The music is club music, but it’s a rather dour club that would provide their clubbers with the lovely but melancholy “Another Heaven,” “Years Go, Days Pass,” or “Wicked.” Furthermore, “Come Rain, Come Sunshine” is perhaps this year’s most perfectly perfect pop song; beats that enrapture and get your feet moving are enhanced by Angergård’s sad crooning. Still, in spite of the clouds, The Sea of Memories, there’s plenty to enjoy; after all, a cloudy day can still be a beautiful day.
The Sea of Memories is largely characterized by bright, subtle synthetics and the duo’s soothing vocals--better fit for soundtracking summer roadtrips than inspiring navel-gazing. It’s easy to see where atmospherics influenced Pallers’ songwriting, but their work--although pleasant--is far from genre-defining.That’s probably why some of the most successful songs on The Sea of Memories are those that maintain a pop feel. “Come Rain, Come Sunshine” (the album’s first single), “Humdrum” and “The Kiss” are full of buoyant synth leads and dancey beats, the latter featuring some truly catchy oriental chord progressions. Pallers demonstrate equal finesse with their down-tempo tracks. “Wired” flows along serenely, backed by robo-angelic harmonies, while “Nights” closes the album with somber elegance, wistful vocals and dreamy piano keys.The Sea of Memories is completed by a couple of redundant instrumental tracks (“Tropical Fishbowl”, “Sound of Silence”) and a club-worthy misfire. “Wicked,” the only song on the album to guest-feature female vocals, is a little too house-synthy for its own good. It breaks the spell of an otherwise enjoyable first outing.Genre-bending isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Pallers could probably benefit from playing extremes. With atmospherics lacking organic undertones and thin, slow electropop lacking real exuberance, it might be helpful for the duo to push their aesthetic limits. The Sea of Memories isn’t without its gems; they just need a little extra polish.