It has been 15 years since Fallon Bowman graced our speakers with the exuberant sounds of Amphibious Assault, but upon listening to Simulacrima, it’s clear she’s not missed a beat. Throughout these nine tracks, the artist presents a vibrantly layered blend of electro and industrial textures adorned with accessible melodies the likes of which would not be out of place in Depeche Mode’s discography. For example, synth arpeggios trickle and echo like raindrops upon a growling bass and guitar lead on the title track, the glassy synths and saccharine vocals making for a decidedly catchy chorus that stands as one of the album’s most striking moments. The same can be said of the rhythmic percolation of “By Any Other Name,” the Moog lead melody adding to a chorus that sounds like it could’ve appeared on Black Celebration, while the straightforward danceability of “City Lights Are Here” is right out of Violator, the growling guitar and shimmering electronics adding to Bowman’s energetic vocal performance. On the other hand, “Electropunk” is true to its title with her voice scorching and seething in pure riot grrl fashion as the reversed cymbals slice and slash through the mix like sharpened blades, while the warble of the vocoder harmonies on “Eternal Sadness” almost sound like the kind of synthesized trumpets so prevalent in the synthpop and new wave of the early ‘80s. The opening “Gridlocked Heart” and “Truthbomb” hit with a harder electro vibe as Bowman’s voice shines on these tracks with an almost operatic depth amid a more disaffected ambience that recalls the likes of Kidneythieves, while the techno/industrial pulse of the instrumental “Three Storms” closes the album out after the pure synthpop balladry of “Lifeline,” the lyrics poignant and poetic in their simplicity, the melody adorned with processional pads and bell-like synths that somehow evoke Prince in his lighter moments. As stated, Simulacrima picks up where Amphibious Assault left off with 2006’s On Better Days and Sin-Eating, her brand of pop-infused audio futurism as primed for the dance floor as for deeper listening through headphones, the richness of her production and songwriting topped off by Mariana Hutten’s mix and mastering making for a clean and polished album. What more could we ask for?