Genre bending French band Chateau Marmont this week release the follow-up to 2013 LP ‘The Maze’. Praised as innovators of genre and masters of the minimal, ‘Sounds Of Shambala’ successfully picks up from where the last record left off. The opening collaboration with Steffaloo is a breezy, downtempo piece of dream pop that instantly chills your senses with its light percussion and steel drum melody. They once again show their versatility in ability to move genre whilst allowing the whole album to remain consistent, ‘City Of Giants’ has a vocal reminiscent of a Daft Punk off cut yet the bright melodic bridge holds the familiar pace.
The 90s French Touch influence is incredibly apparent on ‘In Love’ which once again features vocalist Steffaloo and is a delightful slice of psych-synth with a breathy vocal, piercing snare drum percussion and easy listening chill wave beats. The robotic vocal is back for preceding single ‘Everybody Is Somebody’ which is a far more ethereal piece of trip-hop assured to get crowds moving in a live scenario and there is a feeling that this aspect of their music has been very carefully considered.
‘Somebody Else’ is a high point with its alt-dance beats showing yet more variation and featuring an intriguing vocal by Stella La Page which is reminiscent of modern contemporary Aluna Francis, it is a slight shame that this is her only appearance on the album. ‘Sounds of Shambala’ is a sturdy and assured demonstration of what this band can achieve and the ability they have in combining seemingly inclusive genres to create an all consuming alternative dance sound. The slight double edged sword is the strength of the opening two tracks seem to overshadow the remaining album which does not achieve the same level of brightness in production, sound or engagement.