Review: NYPC

October 6, 2013

With their self-titled third album shedding their name in favour of a simple acronym, New Young Pony Club’s rebirth as NYPC has refined their sound and proved that the (now) duo of Tahita Bulmer and Andy Spence will continue to be unique and long-standing electro-pop specialists.

Of NYPC’s revamp as a duo, Andy says that “it feels like a new band in one way” and at the same time they’ve almost come full circle, as the two started out their musical collaboration as a duo. “It feels like we’ve just come back to the honest position where we’ve started,” says Spence.

NYPC the album has been in the making since 2011. Self-produced and recorded in London, the 10-track offering has been described as smart, minimal and sophisticated electro-pop, with a “clean” sound evident in their first single Hard Knocks. The track is one of the strongest on NYPC, with Tahita’s punchy, attitude-filled vocals layered on top of a heavy, steady beat and intermittent chimes in the first half of the track, giving it a pretty, dream-like quality.

Sure as the Sun has a retro disco quality pressed into relaxed beats, with Tahita’s mesmerising vocals polishing it off as the perfect summer dance track. Things Like You is a song that may take two or three listens to truly appreciate. It harks back to the upbeat, unmistakable NYPC sound as an intricately compiled track, linking Tahita’s vocals and Andy’s multi-instrumentalist talents in just the right way.

Watch: NYPC – Hard Knocks

Now I’m Your Gun has a darker edge, with haunting vocals and eerie layers and a hook that’s less than sugary, but still appealing. You Used To Be a Man recalls Madonna’s early work – think Burning Up – but with synths pushed to the foreground. Tahita’s versatile vocals sound different yet again than on Now I’m Your Gun, softer and youthful to match the sparse production.

Play Hard provides a point of difference with its rock sensibility and ominous guitar – there’s definitely some Yeah Yeah Yeahs influence to be heard here, but it still represents a versatility and highlights NYPC’s ability to experiment even more with a matured and refined sound compared with their first album.

Everything Is is truly amazing and a definite highlight. The sparse, repetitive lyrics laid-over punchy beats culminate in a wavering, vulnerable musical peak before being lifted further by the introduction of steel drums, which gives the track a new and vibrant life.

NYPC ends with L.O.V.E, a perfect end to the broad spectrum of sound, vocals, beats and energy from Tahita and Andy. This track is mellow, dreamlike, and heavy on the synth, with an ever-so-slightly tribal sensibility, thanks to the slow and careful beat. L.O.V.E‘s layers combine to tie in and envelope all the previous tracks on the album and it’s easily the best track featured on the album, a great indication that NYPC have found a comfortable groove, while pushing for a new and sophisticated sound in their fresh beginnings.

NYPC will be released Monday, 7th October.