The 4-track ‘Aura’ EP lands ahead of the new album ‘Île de Rêve’, and promises ‘four beautifully crafted, lush electronic pop tracks’. It’s definitely pop, and the overall style is sleek, slick, retro and soft. There are hints of Wham and Modern Talking in the vocals. Lead single and title track, which opens the EP is by far the strongest: after this, it does drift into mellow doodlesomeness, propelled by steady synthetic beats.
It would be a mistake to conflate the easiness of the chilled-out vibes with lack of effort or focus: one gets the impression that they’ve worked hard to achieve a sound this laid-back, this stripped back. Much of it’s down to the production: they’ve got that smoothed-out, glass-like synth-pop style down here.
It’s perhaps ironic that the post-millennial quest for individuality and the ever-increasing cult of personality as represented by those sorely deficient in the same (‘Love Island’, anyone?) has in fact resulted in greater conformity, and that post-millennial replications of plastic pop are, if anything, more plastic than the plastic pop it strives to replicate. Private Agenda could be infinite bands, and are an amalgam of infinite bands from the last 40 years.
They’re a bit chewing gum for my taste, but they’re very much the flavour of the now, as the thirst for nostalgia grows increasingly desperate in a climate of creative desiccation and a culture defined in equal measure by disparity and homogeneity, with heavy recycling on both sides.