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Best of What's Next: Quadron

August 26, 2010  |  6:00am
Best of What's Next: Quadron

Hometown: Copenhagen, Denmark
Album: Quadron
Band Members: Robin Hannibal, Coco
For Fans Of: Lykke Li, Jamie Lidell, Beach House

“To travel is to live,” says Robin Hannibal, one-half of Danish dream-pop duo Quadron, quoting fellow a Dane, children’s author Hans Christian Andersen. For Hannibal, this line reflects his own feeling that it’s a good idea to, as he puts it. “shake things up. ... Once you’ve gotten used to something, go for a change.”

This philosophy informed the formation of Quadron, a duo rounded out by Hannibal’s bandmate, a young woman with smoky, beyond-her-years pipes who goes only by Coco. Hannibal says he first saw something in his soulful-voiced counterpart when she was only 16, singing live backing vocals with the Boom Clap Bachelors Collective, of which they were both members. Hannibal, who crafts all of Quadron’s beats, originally intended Coco’s role in the band as a background singer, but she “quickly became the main attraction.”

Quadron’s sound walks the tightrope between sweet, syrupy pop and a more mature sort of vintage soul that Hannibal claims as a deep influence—Motown and Phil Spector-produced music like The Ronettes. “Slippin,” from Quadron’s self-titled debut album (out now), bumps and vibrates with a killer combination of handclaps and glittery synth, and it has a familiar old-school vibe. But Hannibal is quick to note that whatever influences he draws from, he makes sure to “pay back with rent.” For as much as he and Coco borrow from vintage sounds, they take care to upgrade the music in some way.

“There’s no reason trying to emulate what it sounded like in 1960,” he says, “because it’s already been done.”

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