Pikachunes – ‘Allely’ Review

Hook-focused pop rooted in emotion

11049469_10152758820642397_8857993541708594802_nFor fans of: Depeche Mode; Erasure; Pet Shop Boys
Listen to: Writer’s Block’; ‘Perfume’; ‘Nebula (feat. Tommy III)’; ‘Friends And Family’

It’s a well-established songwriting technique to draw upon your own feelings and life experiences to create very personal music. It creates a feeling of honesty, and an artist being genuine is magnetic to listeners. Of course, the challenge in this is to turn your heartbreak into something that isn’t overbearingly sad.

Cue Pikachunes, whose second album ‘Allely’ carries a heavy heart and a lot of emotional weight but without losing any of its pop appeal. The opening electro chant of ‘Intro’, as rousing as it is, is seeped in a sense of melancholy that the lyrics only accentuate. It doesn’t matter if you’re up-to-date on Miles G. Loveless’ life, the album has a way of filling in the gaps.

‘Allely’ is structured to tell the tale of the build up and fallout of love and marriage, using sophisticated synths and pop melodies punctuated by a slightly downtrodden vocal. It builds up with a series of anxiety-tinged love songs, until it reaches the climax with ‘Friends And Family’ – a slow-burning song that tells of marital breakdown at the altar. After that point, we’re treated to the fallout and aftermath of that incident – songs united by a sense of moving forwards but looking backwards.

It sounds like a bit of a depressing journey, but Loveless makes sure that this album doesn’t revel in its own sadness. The result is an album full of tracks that you either want to dance along to or sing along with, but enjoy either way. It’ll leave you feeling like a bit of an asshole for enjoying Loveless’ heartache so much. But when it’s packed as it is with solid beats, big catchy choruses and strong melodies, it’s hard to feel any other way about it.

You can listen to the album over on Noisey, or you can listen to ‘Writer’s Block’ below.

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