Originally published in The Edge
Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklöw are no strangers to breakout pop success, adding to their personal hit counts (respective examples include ‘Toxic’ and ‘I Love It’) in 2015 with two UK top 10 singles in ‘Runaway (U & I)’ and ‘Peanut Butter Jelly’ that summoned their Galantis brand of melodic house-pop into the mainstream conscience. Almost exclusively, it uses a formula whereby an endless stream of anonymous vocalists chant pent-up, hollow emotions over euphoric synth explosivity in lieu of conventional choruses. When elaborated over the course of a 49 minute Pharmacy appointment, this concoction becomes rather sickly, and their tracks are easily divided between happy and sad camps.
‘No Money,’ their latest palatable microdose, premiered at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival during one of their terrifyingly acrobatic DJ sets and attempts to smudge those frontiers together. On the lyrical front, it’s perhaps too literal, as “I wanna run away / Anywhere out this place” and “Spread it like peanut butter jelly / Do it like I owe you some money” become a hyperactive lovechild of “I ain’t giving you a dollar / This time I ain’t gonna run away.” The vocals, coming from a belligerent and penniless youthful chanter sure to resonate with students around the land, are an irritatingly repetitive focal point, distorted gently towards 15-second flurries of percussion that escalate to the even more obvious period of flail-spurring and alleviation of pressure to allow the verse to be repeated.
In other words, it’s the perfect Galantis release. ‘No Money’ implores you to have fun with whatever you’ve been left with, mercifully without any sign of Sean Paul. If you really listen closely enough, you can hear an illusion of funky jazz as a distant trumpet bobs its way between end-of-bar yelps that Steve Angello’s ‘Knas’ probably has a lot to answer for. Karlsson and Eklöw aren’t going to give you anything experimental, but they certainly know how to make you party.
Out now via Big Beat