While husband and wife duo Brad Rose and Eden Hemming might be best-known for more ''challenging'' sounds, they managed to rack up accolades for their first foray into pop with the Mechanical Gardens (TYPE 073CD) album released by the Type label back in 2010. Nightrunners is Altar Eagle's second full-length together and pushes the duo's woozy pop sound into a flickering neon haze. The soft-focus beauty of Eden's voice is now placed center stage, and the industrial pop productions are as dreamy as they've ever been. Whether through the whimsical dub-influenced opener ''Carousel Ocean'' or cold-wave shakes of album highlight ''Runaways,'' the duo have an authenticity that is impossible to place, and a singular quality to their music. As they saunter from electrified shoegaze notes to darker sounds, each track seems intrinsically linked to the next, imbuing Nightrunners with a narrative that brings to mind classic 4AD -- from the jagged pop of This Mortal Coil to the outsider dub-pop of Colourbox. These are songs dragged kicking and screaming through a thicket of microchips and frozen pizza. Just lie back and enjoy the ride. Original art and design by Radek Drutis, the guy responsible for all those ace Madlib sleeves. Mastered by James Plotkin and cut to vinyl at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Vinyl edition of 500 copies.
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