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You had to know French witch house would be the coolest witch house. The debut album from French dark electronic duo Unison is cool in the sense of having a smooth pop sensibility while sprinkling in piles of clever musical ideas with lovable insouciance.
Early on, “BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD” and “Heartcore” are standard, if unusually melodic, witchy fare, but, as the album progresses, singer Mélanie Moran and singer/guitarist/programmer Julien Camarena stray from the haunted drag path. First, as the album art suggests, the spirit is actually more black metal than goth, and their closest musical relative may be blackened Norwegian electronauts Ulver. At different points, however, the couple sound like everything from Pictureplane to School of Seven Bells. Most tracks are intensely uplifting and laced with the pale light of Moran’s vocals.
The most noticeably chopped and screwed track on the album “Put Your Hands In the Air” also has a majestic but melted melody that could be borrowed from an ’80s fantasy film like Labyrinth. “Lost Generation” echoes the layered mists of My Bloody Valentine, while more directly echoing “Cry Little Sister” from The Lost Boys soundtrack. The little bit whimsy balances the album’s drama. The single “Brothers & Sisters” is frighteningly lovely, voluptuous to the point of being unnerving, so a bit of playfulness elsewhere saves the day.