Blood Cultures sport every single sonic signifier necessary to categorize them as bedroom pop and be done with it. They work with warm, lo-fi guitars; wobbling synths; washed-out percussion; and auto-tuned, cut-and-paste vocals, and they drench all of it in maximum reverb. But there’s more to the anonymous New Jersey outfit than that. If their criminally underheard debut, Happy Birthday, made the best of the genre template, their second record fixes to chop it, screw it, and then buff it to a high mirror shine.
So, sure, there are samples of obscure cinema dialogue and vinyl crackle here, but there are big beats, glossy licks, and a ton of sugary, summer melodies too. That doesn’t mean Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs turns its back on what’s come before ,but where most post-internet homemade electronic music is finished with intimacy and earnestness in mind, this record is carbonated with sunlight and fizz and fun.
Not every hook will sink in, but if Daft Punk had written “Glas,s” people would be calling it a killer comeback, “Again, This Time in Color” will move you, or at least make you move, and “Best for You” is absolutely massive, not only capable of lighting up the bedroom-pop blogosphere but the actual, real-life charts. In fact, while it might sound like some backhanded compliment, there’s no way that a cabal of pop stars aren’t screaming at their agents to discover the true identity of Blood Cultures right this minute.
There is some welcome weirdness in the mix—“Dunk on Me” is part sunburst glow, part monster roar, and “Oh Theo” sounds like Aphex Twin on the beach—but there’s little denying how slick much of Oh Uncertainty! sounds. Blood Cultures had proven themselves as ones to watch already, but with this album, their distinct ear for novel sounds and knack for a melody couldn’t be writ larger. Expect to hear their hooks every summer, forever, probably without even knowing it.