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Fusing soul and integrity with indie-pop has never been so sinister. Citizens! may look innocent, like they’ve just stumbled out of Urban Outfitters, but the London five-piece shamelessly admit they’re in love with your girlfriend and have reptilian qualities.

Martyn, Thom, Mike, Lawrence and Tom graced The Green Door Store with their truly British sound earlier in the year and after a European Tour to coincide with their debut album they’re back for round two. ‘Here We Are’ released on indie-electro label Kitsune, was produced by none other than Alex Kapranos. The Franz Ferdinand front man was enticed after hearing one of the band’s early demos and just had to produce their LP. His influence is definite heard in ‘(I’m in love with your) Girlfriend’ when it breaks down into an epic rock outro.

The 11-track album is one of contrasts with its chirpy synth and bouncy bass juxtaposed with themes such as loneliness, jealously, and feeling like you’re turning into a monster. Citizens! show that they’re keen to experiment but at the same time they know that catchy, melodious vocals are key to a good pop song. Their motto is that “Pop is not a dirty word. It’s a holy one.” In this bold statement they have decided to reclaim pop, and not the auto tuned chart-filling kind, but the good old Bowie-esque kind.

If you’re a fan of Hot ChipLCD Soundsystem and Phoenix, you’ll love this band. Citizens! are also set to play Reading and Leeds next year so catch them now for a more intimate gig at The Haunt on Monday 19 November.

Published at Brighton Noise