Candice Strongwater and Adam Brodsky may pay rent and walk the dog in the Brooklyn of 2014 but their music is less hard to pin down. It likes to travel. Chicago. London. Berlin. ’88. ’91. ’65. ’77. The electronic duo’s début EP as Candide unsurprisingly then presents an intriguing, if somewhat disorientating, trip. The purring throb of “Scaredy Cat” starts the engine with what sounds like the smoky German electro queen Billie Ray Martin driving Depeche Mode down an empty Autobahn in a Trabant. At night obviously. But roll up your windows for “Work Hard”, which takes us through an Orwellian dystopia where flickering holograms gleefully but repetitively bark orders to “Work hard! / Work hard today! / Nothing is ever easy!” over an incessant funky bass. Sadly sometime during its five minute duration the words “No!” and “MUTINY!” may also visit your consciousness.
Praise be then for “Don’t You Go”. A hypnotic fusion of brooding soul, deep house percussion, circling rave synths and classical melodrama, all shot in sleek Vangelis widescreen. Coolly captivating. Next destination is the breezily wistful “Weary of You” which evokes St. Etienne’s elegant brand of ’90s-via-the-’60s Britpop. A dapper daydreamer clicking its heels in the second summer of love. Swift costume change again for the sassy 4/4 sparkler “BIT” which all but zips Sister Sledge into silver spacesuits. Finally a pair of remixes from fellow native New Yorkers fill up Candide’s dance card. AIMES drops a microdot onto the tongue of “Work Hard” to dizzying effect but it’s Rush Midnight who set the roof on fire with a sizzling hot-wiring of “Scaredy Cat”. Infectious, intoxicating and quite irresistible. It’s here and in the title track where Candide’s two wandering hearts click ‘n’ glow and sound like they truly belong.