Woman’s debut album is full of longing. From the plea for “something greater” on opener “Dust” to the soaring synths and exploding drums of “The End”, the Cologne three-piece translate into sound the dream of a better world. What’s surprising is the way they manage to blend slick, sexy funk, arena-sized electro pop and just the right amount of pathos into a coherent whole.

“Happy Freedom” is the one album every contributor to this list has felt obliged to mention. Although it hasn’t made the splash its arena-sized, but nonetheless detailed production work suggests (and deserves), the debut full-length by Woman is one of the best works of German pop craftsmanship 2017 had to offer.

Awesome moments abound, for example when during “Control”, the entry of guitar and drums force you to jump up and down in excitement. “Money” at one point sounds like what a friend fittingly described as “Pink Floyd dub”. The ascending synths and steady bass during the chorus of “NYD” are more thrilling than an episode of “Stranger Things”.

But most importantly, there is “Love”, a minimal soul tune that explodes into a maximalist chorus with its title as the sole lyric. The guitar sound and sexy funk recall Bilderbuch, but the borrowing is more than appropriate given Carlos Hufschlag, Manuel Tran and Milan Jacobi‘s equally assured and equally adventurous song writing. It is the epitome of a great pop song and would have merited a Song of the Year award in at least one of Germany’s mainstream music magazines. “Happy Freedom” as a whole is a cornucopia of excitement. Really, this is all you need. (Philipp Fischer)


Stream “Happy Freedom” on Bandcamp.

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