Brooklyn-based electronica duo Ratatat hasn’t put out an album in almost exactly five years, with their last release being 2010’s well-regarded LP4. Since then, members Evan Mast and Mike Stroud have contented themselves with the occasional live show or collaboration, along with an apparent scouring of thrift stores and music shops for the various instruments and equipment they employ to make their pleasantly instrumental beats.
Now, they’ve put that hard work and eagle-eyed shopping on display, with the band giving fans a chance to stream its latest album, Magnifique, for free as part of NPR’s First Listen program. (It’ll presumably get pulled down when the album is released on July 17.)
Listening to Magnifique, it’s definitely a Ratatat album: defined by string-driven synths, which periodically rise to baroque, epic peaks, before cycling back down to something a little more mellow. The band is pushing the album as being more intentional and guitar-based than previous efforts, especially in the fourth track, “Abrasive,” which layers as many as 30 guitars on top of each other to produce a pleasant wash of sound. (That last bit of information comes courtesy of the liner notes the band put together for the album over at Genius, which are definitely worth checking out for any Ratatat superfans in the audience.)
02. Cream On Chrome
07. Pricks Of Brightness
08. Nightclub Amnesia
09. Cold Fingers
13. I Will Return