Album Review: Sugar Nova – Halogen

Sugar Nova first hit my radar at the end of last year through their vibrant pop track Tiny Helicopters. I was so enraptured with their sound, I went on to share two more of their tracks, I Wouldn’t Worry and Touch Me I’m Going to Scream, Pt. 2. All three feature on their debut album, Halogen.

By Graeme Smith

Sugar Nova is a collaboration between producer and multi-instrumentalist Luke Miller and Denver-based singer Rachel Eisenstat. Luke is also a member of the band Lotus, and the two had previously collaborated through the band. Creating Sugar Nova gave them a chance to fully embrace the electronic pop sound they were craving.

Gospel Hour (2 AM) opens things up with a mosaic of pop, reggae and soul. Its irresistible groove catches you from the off before Rachel’s soft and compelling vocals and the ecclesiastical lyrics seal the deal. It’s a strong start.

Send Me Higher brings with it some pure dance bliss while Touch Me I’m Going to Scream, Pt. 2, a cover of My Morning Jacket, is slow and sultry. The bright and whimsical Tiny Helicopters provides a wonderful sense of contrast before I Wouldn’t Worry welcomes us to the album midpoint with a soft and textured flourish.

Finish What You Started takes things in a moody direction before hitting a pop stride in its chorus. Incense & Clover brings some funky bass and soulful electronic experimentation before Body is a Cage combines classic song writing with forward-thinking instrumentals. Make Me Howl, Make Me Shake then closes the album with a slow-burning dance masterpiece.

Sugar Nova pack so many awesome grooves into this debut it should be against some kind of law. Every track will have you nodding or dancing along, and collectively they give such a rich and diverse range of electronic pop. Halogen is, in a word, stunning.

Halogen was mixed and mastered by Rob Murray. Tim Philpott plays bass on Send Me Higher and Incense & Clover. You can give the album a listen below.