The Juan MacLean has been around for nearly a decade, yet partners John MacLean and Nancy Whang manage to create music that feels altogether now whenever it comes out. John was one of the founders of Six Finger Satellite, a futuristic electronic band that couldn’t have been more ahead of its time in the early 90’s. Their calculated and stylized records contrasted so sharply with the rest of the Sub Pop roster that we had no idea what to do with them. Here were these incredibly talented and intelligent guys in suits who were reminiscent of Kraftwerk in a world where scruffy guitar bands like Sunny Day Real Estate and The Supersuckers reigned supreme.
Thankfully, The Juan MacLean is exactly the right band for the present. The new songs are highly produced, and Nancy’s voice soars like a diva, but there’s an artistic standard maintained throughout their new record In a Dream that distinguishes The Juan MacLean from most of their electronic-based peers. I am crazy about the song “Simple Design” and expect it to star on many playlists moving forward.