Galantis Unveils Colorful Sophomore Album ‘The Aviary’

As EDM continues to infiltrate the mainstream by way of pop music, more and more electronic artists are centering their studio albums around a pop format. For Swedish DJ-duo Galantis, they’ve been in the pop game since the start of their careers. Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklöw have been producing hits for some time. Most notably, Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” respectively. When the duo met in 2007, they spent years perfecting their sound with pianos and guitars, instead of loops and software. Herein lies their individuality on their latest album “The Aviary.” Released Sept. 15, this follow-up to 2015’s popular “Pharmacy” has all the ingredients for EDM stardom, including relentlessly catchy melodies, stirring crescendos and an adorable mascot.

The group’s most popular tune to date comes from the final track on the album. “No Money” features uncredited vocals from a ten-year-old son of a British producer. The kid now has enough money for his college fund as the single continues to rake in hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify and YouTube. There’s an intended innocence to a lot of Galantis’ work, with “No Money” being at the forefront. Another stand out cut comes from “Hunter” where the band continues their infatuation with mythical creatures reminiscent of their official Seafox mascot, as seen on their album covers. Visually stunning, the video shows a neon-drenched creature party in the woods while the duo looks on with bemusement. This album is flooded with a variety styles. While “Hunter” features dancehall vibes, “Tell Me You Love Me” could be a glitched-out Jackson 5 cover. “Hello” sounds worldly and tropical whereas “Pillow Talk” drips with indie vocals amongst house beats.

All songs, however, ooze pop. “Girls on Boys,” the Rozes-lead track is as pop-ready as they come. The Philly-born singer-songwriter brings an extra element of accessibility to this emotive, radio-ready single. Similarly, “Love on Me,” the most streamed single from the album thus far, feels so pop, it’s almost straight off Radio Disney. Catchy, without a doubt, but smeared in rainbow glitter and pixie dust. This notion of vibrancy has always been a staple of dance music culture, but now it appears to be progressively brighter with artists creating thematically-dark songs less and less. Perhaps, this is simply a new overall direction of the genre where fans bid farewell to the dark arts of Skrillex and Deadmau5 and hello to Marshmello and Slushii, two of EDM’s rising stars.

Yet another notable trend in EDM are marketing strategies, where numerous singles are released long before the album drop. Fans no longer want to wait for an actual album to hear what they’re favorite DJ has made. It’s a gimme, gimme, gimme market and record execs are fully aware. Unfortunately, however, this makes an album drop less anticipated and therefore less noteworthy. While a solid EDM record, “The Aviary” lacks a punch because it lacks a surprise. Nonetheless, Galantis has already made what they need to make off their music, and created all the buzz they need to book slots at Coachella and others festivals. Credit to EDM for taking to releasing music in the most relevant way possible, or, as soon as the final beat is mastered.

The Aviary” is available Sept. 15 on Apple Music.