Junior Boys’ latest brings soul to the synth

Christopher Nguyen

Over seven years into their career, Junior Boys continue to produce albums that sound like a well-worn disco-soul record with the help of the supposedly cold sounds of electronic synthesizers. Those who think that may be a paradox need only listen to the first track, “Itchy Fingers,” off of their latest album, It’s All True.

Beginning with slow, throbbing beats, the song quickens the pace with groovy melodies as the vocals tease between low notes and high falsetto. It’s the type of song that would make the Bee Gees proud. Elsewhere, shuffling synths sound ready-made for a remake of “Saturday Night Fever.” The lyrics follow the soul influence with their pleas for some attention from a fickle lover.

Amazingly, the duo forces your body to groove by adding the perfect flourish of a mandolin or extra blip to the barebones melody. Although a number of the slower songs plod to an uneventful end, It’s All True still has enough highlights to show that just because it uses high-tech equipment doesn’t mean it can’t have soul.