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The Lovely Few, Sad Disco (self-released)

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Sad Disco, the new album by Columbia electro-folk-pop group The Lovely Few, is a somewhat unexpected release. It’s not part of The Meteor Series, the space-based string of concept albums the band has released since 2012. Lovely Few singer/songwriter/keyboardist Mike Mewborne says that that series isn’t over, so think of Sad Disco as a brief detour into the pop side of the band’s sound.

The result is seductive as hell and absolutely drenched in the sounds of the ’80s. The title track washes in on a wave of ice-cold throwback synths and an electronic beat that sounds more than a little like the one that opens Phil Collins’ “Sussudio.” The next tune, a bouncing, propulsive rocker called “A Thousand Times,” has reams of chiming, echoing guitars (courtesy of Phil Windsor) that recall U2’s The Edge. 

There’s also a spacey, floating ballad called “Earth,” but it’s not a callback to The Meteor Series. It’s a song about a couple that stays in for the night because, “We’ve been around / Tired of the orbit though.” 

As a whole, the EP plays like an extended suite of lush electronic pop for lovers, with typically polished and dynamic production from Kenny McWilliams at Archer Avenue Studio. There are just enough authentic touches — like Ben Walker’s insistent, pulsing bass and the sunny, bashful vocal harmonies between Mike and Kate Mewborne — to give it a human heartbeat underneath the programming.

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