The concepts that Electric President's Ben Cooper and Alex Kane explore on their debut that proletarians are pawns to be used and unceremoniously discarded like machines, that everyone's under surveillance, that civilization as we know it will collapse any minute now, for real
are certainly nothing new. Neither is their chosen genre, folktronica, which, generally speaking, is an imperfect marriage of mellow guitars and docile beats. But Electric President's achievement is the way that subject and style merge seamlessly into a ghostly, graceful daydream-pop whole, such that the resigned hopelessness of the duo's worldview comes off more romantic, utopian purgatory than outright nightmare. Cooper's quiet singing conveys a serene resignation We're all just part of some giant, grand machine
/Too big to really understand
/We'll do our jobs till we break down and fall
that perfectly complements the duo's penchant for tender, understated melodicism. The backdrops burbling synth, undulating guitar, sunny keyboards undercut by pitch shifts, beats both man-made and skittering are nothing short of breathtaking.