While many bands set out to perfect a singular sound, others prefer to take a more diverse route, embracing a mangled mass of styles and genres. The latter is becoming the method of choice for your modern-day dance pop units, Teengirl Fantasy included.
On their sophomore full-length, Tracer, the duo of Nick Weiss and Logan Takahashi cover a lot of musical ground, tapping into everything from minimal techno, to R&B, to ’90s house, to ’80s new age and synth pop. Add in a series of notable guest vocalists and a fierce love for layering, and it’s a maximalist approach, to say the least.
While bigger isn’t always better, in this case it is. With the electro haze of their 2010 debut a distant memory, the electronics of Tracer are brighter, the structures more complex, the beats more frantic, the hooks more infectious. Altogether, it’s also a hell of a lot more danceable.
As for those guests, Panda Bear and Laurel Halo both make worthy showings, but it’s Romanthony (who you may remember from a little Daft Punk song called “One More Time”) who steals the show with “Do It,” giving the album its moment of Discovery.
There’s no question that Teengirl Fantasy have made a serious step up with Tracer, making all the right improvements in all the right places.