A Dutch uncle is defined as “someone who admonishes sternly or bluntly,” but English band Dutch Uncle’s third album feels more like an earnest friend. Out Of Touch In The Wild is an aurally rich, upbeat math-pop album that will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the music scene.

Out Of Touch In The Wild is more polished than Dutch Uncle’s first two albums, though not over-produced. Lead singer Duncan Wallis’ vocals are clean and agile, effortlessly executing the melodically challenging songs. The album is homogenous but never dull, with a high calibre of song writing and consistently unique rhythms and time signatures. Soaring string arrangements recur throughout the album.

The album begins with a promise of good things to come: ‘Pondage’ opens with spacious piano chords and vocals, quickly building in intensity to a funky guitar riff and complex rhythmic pattern. The second track, ‘Bellio’, is a solid dance piece with a fantastic bass line and infectious pop riffs reminiscent of Foals. ‘Fester’ is a standout track for me, with a syncopated xylophone line giving it an edgy feel. It’s a very radio-friendly, upbeat track – the chorus “It takes me to the bottom, the feeling I own” remaining in the listener’s head long after the song’s conclusion.

‘Phaedra’ is one of the more reflective tracks on Out Of Touch In The Wild. It has an almost anxious quality – jumpy instrumentals juxtaposed with heavy bass effectively portraying confusion and disorientation. It’s a refreshing change in what is otherwise a predominantly dance-y album. The album finishes with ‘Brio’, a driving song combining all the album’s best qualities, but lacking some of the charm of previous tracks.

Nevertheless, Out Of Touch In The Wild is an exceptional and exceptionally likeable album. Dutch Uncles have created an intelligent and catchy album that will impress listeners of indie rock, math-pop and electronic music – and probably everyone else.


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