While husband and wife duo Brad Rose and Eden Hemming might be best known for more ‘challenging’ sounds, they managed to rack up countless accolades for their first foray into pop "Mechanical Gardens" when it emerged in 2010. "Nightrunners" is Altar Eagle's second full-length together and pushes the duo’s woozy pop sound into a flickering neon haze. The soft-focus beauty of Eden’s voice is now placed center stage, and the industrial-cum-electro pop productions are as dreamy and addicting as they’ve ever been.
Whether through the whimsical dub-influenced opener "Carousel Ocean" or cold-wave shakes of album highlight "Runaways," the duo have an authenticity it’s impossible to duplicate, and a singular unifying quality to their music. As they saunter from electrified shoegazing notes to far darker sounds each track seems intrinsically linked to the next, and this gives "Nightrunners" a touch of magic that brings to mind classic 4AD – from the jagged pop of This Mortal Coil to the outsider reggae of Colourbox. These are songs, first and foremost, but songs dragged kicking and screaming through forests, fields, microchips and frozen pizza. Just lie back and enjoy the ride.