Two People
Second Body


4.5
superb

Review

by Dewinged CONTRIBUTOR (95 Reviews)
August 29th, 2020 | 235 replies


Release Date: 08/28/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Chasing the summer dawn with the night behind us.

It seems I was never awake to begin with.

The night I wrote about Two People’s first album while an intense red neon bathed my room was only the beginning of a dream that has trapped me for almost two years. Those stung with Phoebe Lou’s voice will know what I’m talking about. It was only January of 2019, First Body had just been released, and I had only been trying to snap out of the album’s embrace for months when a new single called “Dream Steppin’” dropped out of nowhere, sinking me even deeper in the dark dream-world that the couple from Melbourne had created.

“Dream Steppin’” felt a little different though. No spellbinding neon, no red light while cruising the city’s empty streets well past the midnight hour. Instead, the duo had opted for an afterparty-at-dawn feel that blended their brand of ambient heavy pop with a more confident, more fleshed out approach. It seemed the long night of First Body had finally found its dawn, but the dream didn’t end there. There was so much more to come.

Turns out, Phoebe Lou and Joey Clough had started writing the follow-up to their fantastic debut as soon as it was released. The couple switched off the red light that became their aesthetic in First Body, packed their live set and drove up to a cabin in the mountains. Working on one different song every day during a full week saw them returning to town with their second album almost ready to be recorded. Efficiency personified.

Simon Lam, from Melbourne’s electronic group I'lls, was brought to work in the aptly titled Second Body, a decision that has only served to expand and enrich the wonderful sound that Two People had already crafted with their debut. In Second Body, this sound is still present, but the ambient pop and deep house with trip hop leanings that exuded from First Body has taken a more defined shape, with the band touching on synth wave and dream pop with an immediacy that feels like a piercing arrow through the heart.

Unsurprisingly, “Dream Steppin’” opens the album and the energy is completely different. A solid beat, impossible not to bop to, and Phoebe Lou’s voice half whispering, half moaning the mantra “keep dreaming, keep steppin’”, as if she wanted you to slide straight from their debut and phase into this second effort seamlessly. “Loud” is one of the first surprises, while being a perfect fit on their debut, it also carries a slight soul vibe mixed with elements of 80s pop that show how much detail Joey Clough and Simon Lam has put in creating the perfect vehicle for Phoebe’s entrancing singing.

In early conversations about this new album, someone mentioned Second Body being more kinetic, and I think it’s the perfect way to describe how Two People has designed this second album. A song like “Someone to Serve” for example, not only is insanely catchy, it also shows how confidently the duo has dried out some of the ethereal atmosphere of their debut in favor of a more tangible sound that relies more on beats and bops and less on layers of synths and vocal dubs.

But don’t get me wrong, Second Body still feels like that sort of dream you don’t want to wake up from. “Been a Little While” crawls under the sheets and gets under your skin before you realize what’s going on, and the one to blame is Phoebe Lou. Like a good friend told me not long ago: “her voice is opium”. Lou’s melancholic tone wavers between urgency and sleep talking, belting out beautifully when the song requires it and letting the words slip down her lips almost unaware when the tension loosens up. Case on point: “Breaking the Silence”.

“A Taste” is a synth wave wonder, a song that feels almost nostalgic of the duo’s debut when it invites thoughts of night driving while chasing the summer breeze, and it’s by far my personal favorite of Second Body. The last three tracks may leave a shallow impression compared to the rest of the album at first, but “The Line” and specially the terrific closer that is “Under the Hood” are guaranteed to carve their mark in you as you keep spinning around the edges of Second Body for as long as Lou and co. deem it appropriate.

Personally, and with the recent memory of First Body being my AOTY just last year, I am deeply humbled and happy to see how Two People’s debut wasn’t a bluff, that Joey Clough and Phoebe Lou really have an impressive chemistry that allows them to write some of the best pop music I have heard in the last ten years. The prospect of their next output being able to match two amazing records is not surrounded by uncertainty and hope anymore, now, I just know it will.



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user ratings (71)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2020


21990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Have... "A Taste": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx4ERAsyLuQ



(God, I've waited so long to make this stupid pun)



Excuse the poor writing, been very rusty, but the priority was having a thread to talk about how GOOD this is.



Hope you enjoy it!

Digging: Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou - May Our Chambers Be Full

LunaticSoul
August 29th 2020


1491 Comments


Woah second one already? Gotta check

nightbringer
August 29th 2020


1494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice write up Dewi. I feel like you perfectly capture the progression from the first album to this one. They did a great job developing their sound while having enough continuity to further cement the identity of the duo.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2020


29403 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Lovely lovely review, much more excited to hear this now. Jamming Something to Talk About and looking at them red city lights rn

Digging: Tricot - 10

nightbringer
August 29th 2020


1494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I also picked up on the soul elements too. Very cool

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2020


21990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers boys. The soul vibe and the slight veering into dream pop has worked wonders for them.

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2020


3487 Comments


Loooove this album. Will read review soon. [: I prefer this sound a lot to the first album's, but I'm ready to dive into First Body again.

Gyromania
August 29th 2020


30808 Comments


Is it aa dull as the last one? I liked the lead single a fair bit

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2020


3487 Comments


I 2.5'd the previous album, and would consider this to be about a 4.0. Wouldn't call it exciting, but I also loved the lead single so worth a go I reckon!

Gyromania
August 29th 2020


30808 Comments


Awesome! Danke

Sinternet
August 29th 2020


23245 Comments


this is probably really good but could they not come up with a better cover jesus

Gyromania
August 29th 2020


30808 Comments


Yeah first body had a cool cover very reminiscent of like 80s dream pop/trip hop stuff but this is vanilla to the max

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2020


29403 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Has similar feng shui to the last Alcest cover, but otherwise 1/10 art

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2020


12057 Comments


It's got that minimalist a e s t h e t i c, you're just a hater!

Solid review Dewi. Having liked the debut, might give this a peep as well.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2020


21990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cover is bit lazy indeed, any of the singles' youtube thumbnail would have sufficed lol



Thanks Marsbro!

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2020


1640 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah it's weird how this is the album cover when all the singles had great covers

really nice review dewi! the line is def my favourite after a taste

Digging: clipping. - There Existed an Addiction to Blood

budgie
August 29th 2020


22455 Comments


hello phoebe

budgie
August 29th 2020


22455 Comments


"I 2.5'd the previous album" ban

nightbringer
August 29th 2020


1494 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If I ever buy this, I'm gonna switch the album art for one of the singles covers in my digital library lol

budgie
August 29th 2020


22455 Comments


this is basically a tupac album



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