Chicago’s Jack Armondo is a truly one-of-a-kind musician, and his Panic Priest project is profound proof. Following the release of 2018’s self-titled debut comes the appropriately titled Second Seduction – a deeply relevant record for the wildly chaotic world in which we find ourselves floundering for sincerity and connection amidst the upheaval of daily routine.
Brand new synthpop from the Sheffield duo.
Feathered with optimism, “Rainy Day” is a really just a simple song about taking negativity and trying to make the best of it. Its hopeful lyrics, laced through with the singer’s beautiful and unusual lilt, paint an upbeat picture of wearing a smile as an umbrella. With its positive, danceable beat and bright melody, it is delightful in its candid, buoyant cheerfulness, completely unabashed.
An amalgam of animal and artifice, “Daisy Cutter” thumps into being with a calling that immediately commands the struggle taking place within its tones. With an inherent uncertainty, there is still the sense of something victorious here; veiled among the overturning of allegories and pontifications on doubt is a creeping self-awareness of purpose that builds this song into an anthem at its climax. This is a song about survival, about laying waste to obstacles and destroying barriers to find truth and faith beyond a seemingly endless void.
There is something emphatic and romantic about Electro Spectre, something primal and elemental even as their sound dances on the spine of its electronic core. Much of their music flashes like hot coals and curls up and around me like smoke, a sharp kinesis of desire laced with earnestness and honesty.
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.
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.
Sometimes it all just comes together. In this case, the interplay of outstanding vocals, dark lyrics complementing bright twinkling synths, glossy production and all make this a fantastic synthpop song worthy of ’90s-era Depeche Mode. Other ’90s synthpop bands that this reminds me of include Echoing Green, Brave New World, and Neuropa. In particular, the chorus just soars you into the stratosphere.