It's a universal pop truth that songs about the thrill of the club rarely live up to the urgent abandon induced by a night's hard dancing. Two years ago, Swedish duo Niki and the Dove-- aka Malin Dahlström and Gustaf Karlöf-- struck a rare and peculiar seam with the release of their debut single, "DJ, Ease My Mind", on British indie label Moshi Moshi. Over militaristic clattering drums and swathes of pristine synthesizers (think the Knife's precision blown up to Eurovision Song Contest size
), Dahlström pleads, "I want to forget, I want lights to blind me... I want to disappear," imploring the DJ to let calm flood her soul by playing a jam that takes her back to a time laced with romantic triumphs. "DJ…" is spectacular because it doesn't just feel like a song made for your own euphoric moments in the wee hours; rather, it's a force that bolts your heart to Malin's and forces it to pulse along with hers. Two years in the making, Niki and the Dove's debut album, Instinct, has a borderline greedy hit-rate where all 12 of its songs (not counting the two bonus numbers on the U.S. release) manage to be equally arresting, flitting between the sound of Fleetwood Mac, Prince, Cyndi Lauper
, and trashy Europop, while delighting in tiny but pivotal moments, sites of emotional precipices and tremendous, history-making passions.