Lust For Youth is a project that draws on a deceptively complex network of influences. Their dreamy synth textures are reminiscent of Depeche Mode, but then the beat thumps a bit harder and it starts to resemble ’90s Europop. On top of this are lyrics delivered in a deadpan manner that’s equal parts Underworld and Preston from The Ordinary Boys. Whatever the combination, the results are infectiously catchy and the production is lush throughout.
New Balance Point kicks the album off with a pedal note that pushes the song forward until the hook arrives to open everything up: a grand chord sequence and tuneful countermelody (of which there are plenty over the record) become the heart of the track and the two alternate pleasingly until completion. The tried-and-true formula from their last album, 2016’s Compassion, is mostly intact, but the structures are a bit more fleshed out with extended codas deployed to brilliant effect on various tracks.
One thing that renders the sound slightly uncanny is little compositional tricks that wouldn’t normally be heard in this type of music, such as the syncopated chords on Insignificant that feel decidedly modern. Meanwhile the vocals also deliver gems, as seen on the brutally dismissive hook of By No Means (“I see you’re always happy / to talk about your misery / your sentiments are tainted / a compliment from you would insult me”)
While the aesthetic of Lust For Youth’s music may be dated on a surface level, good pop songcraft tends to become timeless once people have got used to it. And this self-titled album of theirs is full of this, tunes that work their way into the listener’s head and successfully strike a balance of being nostalgic without being derivative.