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iii

It’s been a frustrating few years for fans of Swedish-American group Miike Snow. After two promising albums early in their existence, little was heard from the trio until now. iii is (you guessed it) their third album, and the single 'Heart is Full', released in October, marked a return after a three-year hiatus.

Formed of American singer Andrew Wyatt and Stockholm-based production duo Bloodshy & Avant (Christian Karlsson, also one half of Galantis, and Pontus Winnberg), the group have traditionally straddled the border between distinctive, groundbreaking alternative music and more mainstream, replica pop. Miike Snow’s output is primarily electronic – the band even use a 9x9m hexagonal synthesiser when performing live – but has also been characterised as 'indie' for its sometimes experimental feel.

iii opens strongly with the catchy 'My Trigger' and is soon followed by 'Genghis Khan', the excellent second single from the record and probably the trio’s best track in their nine-year history. The latter is an example of Miike Snow’s attempt at mainstream pop proving highly successful, but their output is often more suited to alternative circles. Indeed, the heavy modifications to Wyatt’s vocals on tracks like 'For U', featuring Charli XCX, grate somewhat.

It’s an enjoyable, well-produced album, but you feel the trio have yet to reach their peak. At their best, they produce music no else can; at their worst, pop not quite good enough to be mainstream hits. With each member also involved in other projects, the future of Miike Snow is unclear.

Dan Rawley

by Now Then Sheffield