Citizens!’s pop sound is hard to pinpoint, both dark & delightful

Jennifer Suh

British indie pop band Citizens! is finally releasing its debut album, Here We Are. Produced by Scottish band Franz Ferdinand’s frontman Alex Kapranos, the album will feature 11 tracks including the three singles the band has already released. The first single, “True Romance,” is an electro/dance pop track led by repetitive keyboard-based melodies. The simple instrumentals make the song really catchy. Frontman Tom Burke recently told Elle this single is “a love song for the lost and confused, who are looking to each other to make sense of themselves.” Burke says he wants to make good pop music, though not quite like Lady Gaga or Rihanna. However, he does not have a typical pop voice, which tends to be plain and soft. Instead, his vocals are loose and rather stylish. When Citizens! released “True Romance,” the band offered another one of its tracks as a free download on its website. “(I’m In Love With Your) Girlfriend” is not a love song. In fact, they sing about something completely opposite from “True Romance.” Burke sings, “I always want/the things that I can’t have… /I’m in love with your girlfriend.” This track’s instrumentals are full of colorful synth sounds, and the tempo is faster and varied throughout. Last month, the band released its second single, “Reptile,” through which it successfully showed yet another side to its music. This is more of an indie rock track that resembles a bit of Franz Ferdinand’s sound. This track not only has a rhythmic and distinct guitar riff, but has dark dance beats as well. The band uses both first and second guitar for this track unlike in its previous songs. Earlier this month, the band announced it will release its third single, “Caroline,” in July by airing a new video shot in Copenhagen. This track is a rather cheerful and carefree summer pop/rock tune, which appropriately fits its month of release. Although Citizens! has been touring throughout Europe for months, the band has yet to perform in the United States. The new album, Here We Are, will be released on May 28. -Jennifer Suh