London's electro-indie pop quintet Citizens! feature singer Tom Burke, keyboardist Lawrence Diamond, drummer Michael Evans, bassist Martyn Richmond, and guitarist Thom Rhoades.
Previously, Burke, Diamond, and Evans were in the band Official Secrets Act
together, but the group disbanded in 2009 soon after the release of its debut album, Understanding Electricity, that year. After taking some time off from making music, the trio reunited, brought in Rhoades and Richmond, and began recording demos. The band's sleekly catchy sound recalled both glam and Berlin-era Bowie
, and more contemporary acts like Hot Chip
, and a demo version of one of its songs, "Let's Go All the Way," appeared on 2011's Kitsuné Maison, Vol. 11. Meanwhile, the group shopped its demos and eventually connected with Franz Ferdinand
's Alex Kapranos, who recorded Citizens!' debut album in Scotland early that year. By August 2011, Citizens! were playing their first live shows, and Kitsuné
released their official debut single, True Romance, that December. Two other singles, Reptile and Caroline, arrived before their first full-length, Here We Are, was released in May 2012 in the U.K. and Europe and in October in the U.S. Following extensive touring in support of the album, Citizens! decamped to Kitsuné
's Paris studios to begin work on the follow-up. Having absorbed numerous influences, the band set out to create their own contemporary vision of American soul music. The resulting album, 2015's European Soul, was a dancefloor-oriented, carefree pop record with elements of '70s disco and '80s synth pop. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi