When I first heard the voice of Sanni Baumgaertner at the beginning of “Mach Dich Los.” I did a double-take. I had to check and verify that Dancer Vs. Politician wasn’t the solo project of Acid House Kings female counterpart Julia Lannerheim. It, of course, is not. Baumgaertner is a native of Germany, a country with plenty of untapped pop resources.
Baumgaertner strays between English and German lyrics/vocals on her recent release, A City Half-Lost. No matter in what language she sings, her vocals are consistently airy and dreamy. This is, perhaps, best noted in “Ratcliff Highway”, where they stand out amidst a consistent double-time percussion and lengthy accordion tones.
A City Half-Lost is pure indie-pop, generally soft and romantic in nature; it also includes heavy elements of orchestration. This orchestration features everything from accordion to glockenspiel to musical saw. There’s a trumpet in the German-sung “Happiness”, and occasionally you’ll hear viola as well. But nowhere is the use of language and orchestration more telling, more beautiful, more emotive, than in album closer “Homeless Mind”.
Few artists span languages in their music — certainly here in the states, occasionally switching to a language other than English can turn away some people, but in most cases those individuals are missing out on some really great music. It’s what initially drew me to Delaney, who splits her tunes between her native French and English. So it’s no surprise that the dual English/German side of Dancer Vs. Politician is an element I really enjoy on A City Half-Lost, making it, in my opinion, a beautiful pop album.
1. Mach Dich Los.
2. Mond & Stern
3. Keine Zeit
4. Justin Fairborn
6. Ratcliff Highway
8. Neuer Morgen, Neuer Tag
9. Wet Leaves
10. Homeless Mind