Soft Metals are yet another band on the synthwave revival. The Portland duo play dreamy, ’80s-romanticising alt-dance in the traditions of New Order and Gary Numan etc. and their dedication has landed them on Captured Tracks. If you happened to miss the 2011 on the back of the case, you might mistake this as an obscure reissue, because nothing about their latest self-titled record sounds new. They specialize in that suave, low-density beat-making, which went out of style about 20 years ago. Ian Hicks’ synth is pitch-perfect, Patricia Hall sings in a gauzy yawn, and it works in the way nostalgia can work. They rarely strike anything great, and occasionally their self-imposed coolness can sound merely distant and empty, but for the aesthetic they’re so lovingly after, Soft Metals do a good job of submerging listeners deep in their sound, or their scene, or their epoch as it were.

By Luke Winkie