Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Röyksopp and Robyn - "The Girl and the Robot." 2009

I've been listening closely to Junior, the new album by Röyksopp. Even if you think you've never heard of this Norwegian electronic duo, I'm pretty sure you are already familiar with some of their music,
and here's why:

Please don't hold this against them.

Anyway, what's really impressive on this disc is the second track, called The Girl and the Robot, a techno tinted pop tune with a sophisticated chord progression, evoking a 19th century art song as it
might have been written by Grieg over a hundred years ago. This lovely harmonic sequence goes like this, in a minor: iv / VI / #VII / i / VII / VI / iv / i. It's interesting how the progression avoids the more obvious use of the dominant chord, substituting the iv chord instead, which has a softening effect. Using a #VII chord is also a brilliant substitution for the V chord, and gives the song a unique flavor.

The track is a collaboration with the truly peerless Swedish pop singer-songwriter, Robyn. There is an official video for this which is rather fabulous , but I prefer the version
Röyksopp performed live on tv with Robyn (notice the cheers when the audience recognizes her!):

Other tracks feature vocals by Anneli Drecker, Karin Dreijer from The Knife, and Lykke Li from, presumably, some other planet. All worth a careful listen.