Galantis’ debut album, ‘Pharmacy,’ is a dance pop masterpiece
As artists, it seems Swedish dance music outfit Galantis have seen nothing but success since taking last year’s Coachella by storm and sparking an ongoing dialogue among fans and media. Their first EP, the self-titled Galantis, placed the duo on shaky terms in the public eye – and then “Runaway U+I” happened. The video itself was enough to get fans talking again, and the track was declared a hit by the media and a promising glimpse into their highly anticipated debut album.
That album, entitled Pharmacy, is finally out and it’s a wild and twisting ride through big room hallmarks, driving bass and soaring synths. It’s a classic summer festival soundtrack, which means there are plenty of pop-y, main stage anthems with the usual uplifting keyboard synths and catchy-as-hell vocals – but that isn’t a bad thing here. Even the most obvious peak hour tracks like “Gold Dust” and “Firebird” manage to offer something that sounds fresh and different from the typical progressive house babble.
The album’s opening track, “Forever Tonight” gets the whole thing going on a strong start, to say the least. Driven by dance floor rhythms and powerful vocals, it’s the perfect getting-ready tune for a night out on the town.
“In My Head,” on the other hand, offers a melody and a vocal as infectious as the song’s name implies. Dramatic builds, shining synths, and vocal breaks that just beg to be filled in by shouting fans in the audience.
Then there’s tracks like “Dancing To the Sound of a Broken Heart,” which starts off promisingly enough but can admittedly get a bit tedious once the chorus starts repeating. For an Ultra or EDC after movie, though, it’s absolutely perfect.
Strong hints of disco and chunky funk in tunes like “Peanut Butter Jelly” offer an unexpected twist, while the wild and driving “Louder Harder Better” brings an almost primal in-the-jungle wildness to the table.
The verdict on Pharmacy: don’t go in expecting something groundbreaking or revolutionary, because it’s not supposed to be. It’s an album chock-full of radio ready hits, take that as you will. It’s also a shining example of dance pop crossover at its finest, a solid body of work designed to thrill mainstream fans without adding in any of the cheese and fluff that comes to mind when most of us think of the word “mainstream.” While it may not rock the world of those outside the dance pop audience, it’ll at least make them smile a bit.