Cemented in their belief to play analog instruments without the aid of computers, Minnesota-based Claps are a trio with strong ideals. Channeling the ’70s synth sounds of Depeche Mode and Joy Division, they perform minimalist measures with dark, foreboding themes, such as the brooding “Book of Life”, on which the singer laments about a relationship gone horribly wrong. “We’re burning pages in the book of love / Watch the embers fall / Tomorrow we will start from chapter one.” Though a little cliché, the lyrics seem less artificial due to the spacey keyboards and pistol-shot percussion that provide the sense of loss and desperation the story’s about. And that’s the defining characteristic of Claps; despite crescendos or bridges, they still maintain hooks in their simplicity. It only takes a little for them to say a lot, and for a band that’s only got 15 original tracks under its belt, that’s a damn good sign of artistry.