Klaus Johann Grobe are on a roll. The duo of keyboardist Sevi Landolt and drummer Daniel Bachmann have been releasing impeccably funky tunes out of Switzerland for the past half decade and opening for the likes of The Growlers and Temples. Their debut LP in 2014 settled into a sweet spot between heated rock’n’roll and freaky electronic pop, and their forthcoming full-length Spagat der Liebe follows that trajectory into a place that’s smooth and danceable.
The opener whisks us into a warm unreality, with the groove of a softened bassline and warm organs to pad an infectious vocal melody. The whole of Spagat der Liebe is in German, save for a pop of English with the line “come on, baby” mid-record. Though the language barrier might seem a turnoff to the unacquainted, it’s really anything but—the duo emote a great deal in their voices, and they’ve insisted in the past that their lyrics are pretty dadaist anyway. The vocal harmonies are standout—Landolt and Bachmann’s voices are both deeply inflected solo and even more intense when pieced together. As the record progresses, it winds deeper into disco land without ever droning on; every few moments, the duo turn a corner and inject new life into melodic lines that are already brimming with feeling. The swaying, sweet “Pure Fantasie” runs into “Heut Abend Nur”, a pared-back slow dance tune that just consists of some impossibly tender vocals and tempered organ. Then it’s back into an uptempo, percussion-heavy burner that feels deeply akin to Stereolab. With each turn there’s something ecstatically new—it’s the kind of record that takes a few repeat listens to wrap your head around, and even then it begs for more.
Spagat der Liebe is out May 6 via Trouble in Mind, and you can stream it in full below. Klaus Johann Grobe will be touring the US in May and July with some shows alongside Unknown Mortal Orchestra—scroll down for the dates.
Klaus Johann Grobe tour dates
04 Columbus, OH at Ace of Cups
05 Detroit, MI at UFO
06 Cincinnati, OH at MOTR Pub
07 Milwaukee, WI at Milwaukee Psych Fest
08 Cleveland, OH at Now That’s Class
09 Philadelphia, PA at Kung Fu Necktie
10 Boston, MA at Lilypad
11 New York, NY at Cake Shop
12 Brooklyn, NY at Shea Stadium
18 Bloomington, IN at The Bluebird %
19 Cleveland, OH at Beachland Ballroom #
20 Pontiac, MI at Crofoot Ballroom #
23 Ottawa, ON at Ritual Nightclub #
24 Burlington, VT at Signal Kitchen #
25 Portland, ME at Port City Music Hall #
28 Providence, RI at Fete Music Hall #
# = w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra
% = w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra, White Lung