Kaleidoscopic in the studio and a force majeure on stage, it’s no surprise that Niki & The Dove, Malin Dahlström (voice, songs) and Gustaf Karlöf (keyboards, songs) met while writing a wide range of music for the theatre. But they’re definitely, and boldly pro-pop: simultaneously simple and complex but ultimately devastating pop music. At the same time, N&D’s electronics and beats forge a pro-dance sound, but with a span from tribal to synth-pop to R&B, it’s as much a quest and a riddle to work out exactly what the pair are – which is how it should be. “In our heart, we are a soul band, not even an electronic band,” says Malin. Both descriptions stand from the very first moments of their debut album, as the opening track “Tomorrow” unfolds a subtle pulse with pan-Pacific textures underneath Malin’s aching vocal that collectively rise to a series of euphoric peaks as vocal overdubs ramp up the feeling of a tribal ceremony. This was also the case with DJ, Ease My Mind, the duo’s debut single released in February 2010 (revamped here as the album finale). Malin’s vocal had the urgency and vulnerability of epic ‘60s girl-group pop (The Shangri La’s, say) fused to their unique version of the joyful release of the dancefloor. Time and again, the album follows the same blueprint of intent – a blend of tenderness, explosion, hypnosis and exhilaration – but never the same routine.