Happiness is…a new IAMX single! Nobody quite lays down the sinister synth beats like former Sneaker Pimps frontman Chris Corner. Happiness is…the fact that the b-side of the single is a remix of the title track by fellow dark synth purveyor Gary Numan.
A few months ago, Spotify removed several features that angered it’s massive customer base. They promised that most of those features would be slowly added back. Strangeways will do our best to inform you of the changes as they are made. Below is the list of changes that were included in this weeks 1.07 release.
Today the UK indie rock band Editors delivered their second new single this year. Continuing where they left off with No Harm, Marching Orders is a powerful balled that will hopefully be filling large stadiums in a town near you soon. I say “large stadiums” because I feel that it is the progression that this band is taking. In my mind, the band is hitting their stride with U2’s Joshua Tree era of songs.
Wow…there is just a ton going on here…within the opening seconds you’ve got a Post-Punk bassline, then wait…some jangle that could signal some lighter Indiepop ala Bleachers is on the way, followed by ‘Twinkles’ found in many Raveonettes tracks and then finally some Synth reminescent of Eurythmics? What the hell direction are we going? Mind you we are only 20 seconds in. Finally we get some deep baritone vocals and all of these disparate sounds start to come together rather nicely.
Let’s just get right to it…High is an anthemic Electropop jam. Everything By Electricity rarely misses and High is no exception. The track teases with 10 seconds of pulsating synths before the bass beats kick in. At this point I am primed and ready, and Emi’s dreamy vocals bring it on home. Folks, we’ve got an early summer jam right here in the vein of Chromatics and Chvrches and I don’t drop those names lately.
It took me all of three notes to say ‘SWEET, a new OMD track’! But wait, then it kicked into gear and I heard a more modern Synth sound and I found myself saying please don’t be one of those tracks where the music is amazing and then the vocals come in and ruin it. Well, that’s not happening here! What a pleasant surprise coming across this lovely little synthpop nugget.
Another in a line of great new tracks from future John Hughes’ soundtracks…City Calm Down’s Rabbit Run could have easily highlighted the angst of Watts, pining for her buddy Keith while he romanced the snobby Amanda Jones. This is a jangly Post-Punk track that bridges the gap between the sound of 80’s throwbacks like Furniture, Flesh For Lulu and The Psychedelic Furs with modern purveyors like Mode Moderne, DIIV and Beach Fossils.
This mix is made up of rare 80’s songs acquired through a friend who worked at a record store in Europe in the early 80s. The majority of these songs never existed anywhere else but on vinyl. Each one of these songs could’ve carried a scene in any John Hughes film. A lot of these songs are now forgotten forever, besides the ones who lived the era.
Azure Blue plays slightly-twee synthy new wave which would appeal to fans of the Junica, Trembling Blue Stars, and Lightning Seeds. This song, “Every Ending Story”, is from this Swedish band’s new EP and is among my favorites by them. I could imagine hearing this ’80s-style tune being played over the closing credits of a…
Admittedly, we listen to a lot of Depeche Mode-sounding bands here at Chez Strangeways, and lucky for us this German band is among the Depeche-iest. SynthDecade has a few great songs, including this one, which reminds me a little of DM’s ʺWalking in My Shoes.ʺ This song has a very late ’80s/early ’90s DM feel, including the dark uptempo feel, the vocal effects, the chord changes, and the occasional unexpected bloops, bleeps, and twang that keep it all very interesting during repeated listening.
The song takes you back to the analog synthpop of the early/mid ’80s. Then you look at the associated picture of the band mates, and it fits perfectly, with an aqua-colored skinny tie and headband complementing their black shirts and serious looks on their faces. Great stuff. Parts of this Toronto band’s song really reminds me of Berlin’s ʺMasqueradeʺ. The synths twinkle, buzz, fade, and swell throughout the song with really nicely interwoven vocals during the final minute.