DUETS AND STUFF Deliver a Delightfully Direct Pop Debut

by guest contributor Dana Silverman

Earlier this year, Swedish duo Greta and Raimond began releasing mellow electronic pop as DUETS AND STUFF. Their debut single “Serve Somebody” inspires comparisons to Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks” and Foster The People’s “Pumped up Kicks” with its sparse instrumentation, singular drumbeat, and atmosphere of mysterious tranquility, thanks to some precision reverb on Greta’s lush vocals.

It should please the ears of anyone looking for radio-friendly, minimalist pop tunes, though the lyrics lack the seductive ambiguity of similar singles. Downbeat lines like “You always have to serve somebody / otherwise you will not ever get served back” are a little on the nose, but the song manages to evoke a great deal of feeling without much help from the words.

It speaks to the duo’s songwriting skills that they can craft a tune this catchy with little more than a good beat and a marimba. Super compressed snare and shaker rhythms are perfect counterparts for a delightfully simple mallet melody. In the future, further developing their lyrics would avoid undercutting the otherworldly energy of their music, but “Serve Somebody” is a worthy first offering.

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