Justice’s New Album “Hyperdrama” Exposes the Soul Beneath the Synthesizers

From the opening bars of HyperdramaJustice's first new album in eight years, the duo reminds us why we fell in love with their timeless electro in the first place.

Those starved for Justice's visceral French house music need starve no longer, as the record overflows with an embarrassment of synth-washed riches. But while it's still anchored in the gritty analog tones that made them icons, the album finds Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé exploring uncharted territory with a renewed sense of adventure and emotional depth.

With Hyperdrama, Justice transcend the simple pleasures of body music to speak to the tragedies, triumphs and bittersweet complexities that loom over the dancefloor's euphoric release. Eschewing the aloof electronic stoicism that defined their earlier works, Justice bleed pathos and restless yearning without abandoning their roots.

Listeners needn't look any further than its opener, "Neverender," a sublime collaboration with Tame Impala where cathartic synth-rock meets aching lyricism drenched in regret over unresolved heartaches. And on "Mannequin Love," Justice tap into their time-tested analog synth craftsmanship to produce a walk-on-air anthem with fizzy arpeggios flittering through effervescent vocals from The Flints.

Justice performing at the 2024 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Miranda Nicusanti/EDM.com

Elsewhere on Hyperdrama is the psychedelic "Explorer," a dark horse for the album's best track. Here Justice weave a lysergic latticework of eerie, cinematic textures alongside a madcap Connan Mockasin, whose guttural vocals envelop us like a hypnagogic nightmare. A masterclass in tension-building, his haunting soliloquy about a barren desert with a sinister figure in the distance sends shivers to your toes.

Despite those departures, it's clear the legendary Justice haven't lost their retrofuturistic French house touch. They turn back the clock by virtue of "Generator" and "Incognito," a pair of raw, vintage bangers oozing with the white-knuckle intensity of their seminal debut album, .

The album's evocative nature is no accident, according to Justice's Xavier de Rosnay.

"Classical pieces of music, like Beethoven's 'Fifth Symphony,' are the biggest hits ever and they have no drums, no beats, no lyrics. But they've been the biggest hits for centuries because they have a very powerful, evocative strength," de Rosnay told GRAMMY.com. "For us, music is first and foremost meant to reveal this. So we never make music with the idea that it has to be for dancing or pop or anything, we always make music to try to convey powerful emotions."

Hyperdrama is out now via Ed Banger Records/Because Music. You can listen to the album below and find it on streaming platforms here.