Lust For Youth’s latest exists in a perfectly constructed world where it’s okay (welcome, even) to have fun while being sad. The Copenhagen-based act have carefully built on their Depeche Mode-meets-90s-Euro-Dance style over each record, and this self-titled release feels like a culmination and a reexamination of that formula.
Indeed, Lust For Youth is deceptive in its initial presentation—while being welcomed by pulsing bass-lines and Hannes Norrvide’s neon-meets-Goth vocals, the record feels almost simplistic in its aims. To that goal, Lust For Youth have never been this accessible and immediate.
However, this sheen is merely a facade that gives way to the group’s most impressive songwriting to date. Songs like “Insignificant” and “Adrift” make great use of their extended runtimes. Both songs could easily have run a few minutes longer each and been just as immediate yet lasting.
There’s an impressive songwriting ability and musicianship that bolsters the full experience and rewards repeat spins. While they have very different endgames, much of the record is reminiscent of the best acts of the recent synthwave boom – another style that wanted to marry 80s neon gloom and 90s electronic styles. This album’s impressive musical density is the connecting point to say Perturbator or Carpenter Brut—Lust For Youth craft exquisite retro synth and just happen to have the best Depeche Mode vocalist not named Dave Gahan.
It also doesn’t hurt that Lust For Youth feel perfectly suited for the late spring/early summer season. Norrvide’s pensive lyrics are masterfully conveyed and belie the easygoing nature of the songs. His voice has also grown more assured, not that he’s hitting high notes or anything, but his baritone croon is a delight over these emotive electronic anthems. This is a serious treat with a wide appeal, not because of dumbing down to a least common denominator; Lust For Youth succeeds because it reminds us of the best of the past thirty years (God, the 80s were that long ago…).