Photo: Rachael Allison

The acclaimed Portland, Oregon synth-pop duo of Mackintosh Braun have long found their niche of within the genre if preceding albums “The Sound” and “Where We Are” are anything to go by.

In going in for their third studio album release “Arcadia” (coming early 2015), the duo have sought to break out of their comfort zone a little by opening up their creative working experience and collaborating with Mars Volta, Matt & Kim producer Lars Stalfors firstly on their forthcoming EP release “The City Below”.

As indicated via the title track “The City Below” this collaboration is proving a resounding win. Mackintosh Braun have always had in place quality synth-pop melodies but it seems by embracing another into their studio process has helped to further enhance their already delightfully intricate and warming compositions to a new height of truly pleasurable listening.

Pair up the duo’s lilting dreamy vocals with a folktronica vibe formed of hazy beats and shimmer, and we’re transported within the otherworldly realms of a path similarly trodden by the Australian dreampop duo of Gypsy And The Cat.

The City Below” might be easy on the ear, but it is not a song that is instantly forgotten owing to its superb in-balanced compositional qualities of transcending vocals and cloud frothy melody.