Los Angeles – Brooklyn indie-pop outfit Ex Cops is the duo of Brian Harding (formerly of Hymns) and Amalie Bruun (formerly of Minks). They first made waves late 2012/early 2013 with the release of True Hallucinations. It navigated through the channels of dream-pop never replicating but only purely reinvigorating the vibe. The group now find themselves on a new label (Downtown Records) where they will be releasing their sophomore effort, Daggers, on November 11.
It was executively produced by Billy Corgan and produced by Justin Raisen (Charlie XCX/Sky Ferreira). Daggers crosses many genres, but the songs coalesce into one fully united record. Brunn’s sugary, lilting vocals have a hint of psychedelic undertones that mixes effortlessly with Harding’s striking guitars, dance-worthy bass lines, and creative songwriting. The eclectic record is never one-note. The miraculous infusion of pop, dance, and rock elements create a vast, distinctive, and imaginative rapture that Ex Cops can easily call their own. It’s a jubilant road from start to finish with the beginning and end of the record sounding like polar opposites to one another.
Daggers begins with “Black Soap,” a concoction of 90s alt rock and contemporary electro-pop. Corgan’s fingerprints seem to appear on this boisterous track; it’s an explosively dynamic way to start an album. “White Noise” is the most infectiously catchy song off the record. It alludes to 80s pop, but finds its own modern day path. With gleaming guitars and pulsating beats, it’s a song that will easily enrich the listener’s downbeat state of mind. “Teenagers” is a nightlife driven song born straight from the dance floor. It switches up the rhythm and tone from the first two songs, but it’s a welcoming change. “Burnt Out Love” resembles Lana Del Rey’s laidback ambiance, showcasing the duo’s vibrant abilities to diverge into different musical landscapes. “Modern World” is a bold and vivacious track that has a big Broadway musical sound attached to its chorus. “Wanna Be (featuring LP)” is one of the many highlights on Daggers. Wistful and warm, it’s a standout track from a band that shows no weary signs of the sophomore slump. In fact, their latest compilation shows how they’ve become better in every aspect.
My top pick from Daggers is “Rooms.” It’s a reflective piece that demonstrates the band’s translucent harmonies and dreamy guitars. “Rooms” has an arena style feel to it that would be deemed an applicable conclusion to one of their live performances. Bruun’s singing capabilities shine once again in this beautiful gem. It leads us to believe her vocals are a force of nature comparable to the best inside and outside the confines of the genre. The record bookends with punk-rock jam, “Weird With You.” While it’s wild and in your face, it proves to be another example of how Ex Cops can seemingly dip their feet into any genre they please. Ex Cops are at their finest when their music is in a pensive and cogitative nature. Since Daggers delivers so much within eleven tracks it allows for the record to have tremendous replay value. The duo of Harding and Bruun are a match made in heaven with a seemingly bright future lying ahead for them.
Check out Ex Cops Facebook for more information about the new release and announced tour dates.
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