The US synth-rock project Holden Laurence released the LP Wild Empty Promises on the 5th.
Holden Laurence – Photo Credit – Jason Haddox
A ten track, approximately forty two minutes, album (available on bandcamp) that is highlighted by the luxurious textures that swirl around the room.
There is a melancholic undertow to the songs that captivates attention as the subtle synthetics extend the bars of the echoing guitar and vocal giving the tracks their emotional draw. The percussion cuts through the hazy musical layers through which an extremely capable vocal expresses the context of the compositions.
My selection from Wild Empty Promises is the seventh – Cover Me In Roses.
The Canadian synth-rock sextet Fast Romantics will release the LP American Love on the 28th of April.
From the forthcoming album, Everybody’s Trying To Steal Your Heart, the first of the dozen tracks, is a composition which encapsulates their mix of societal protest commentary and desire for inclusiveness as they are uncompromising in their sadness of the realities of life, though deliver an uplifting anthem imploring cohesive unity by those not inside the cliques of self-serving bureaucratic structures which fail to accommodate or meet the needs of the governed.
The Greek synth-rock quartet Baby Guru released the LP IV on the 28th of February.
Reflective of their approach to music, which threads through various iterations, the eight track, about forty minutes album (available on bandcamp) takes a broad brush to the canvas delivering a wide ranging soundscape in which the listener can dip in and out of or listen to in one sitting to enjoy the ideas presented.
My selection from IV is the sixth track – Palace In The Sun.
Residing in Seattle in the USA you will find Regan Lane (Vocals / Guitar), Sean Van Dommelen (Guitar / Vocals), Ken Schaff (Bass), Raymond Hayden (Keys) and Jason Bair (Drums) who form the synth-rock band Strangely Alright.
Easy lilting tracks are cinched by a powerful undertow of lower registers and a percussion which hurries along the music turning it into well tempered rock driven beats which engage the listener. Strangely Alright are not seeking to change the axis of the world, rather adding to the impetus of fluctuation, something which they do with alacrity.
Floating synths are held to the ground by the tempo, as are guitars. Whilst they are given room to expand their themes they are never allowed to disappear out of sight, retaining a relevance to the progressions of the tracks as the vocal takes the part of the circling hawk to discourage any extravagant flights of fancy. It is the ability of the quintet to restrain conceptualisation within tightly framed numbers which gives Strangely Alright their appeal and giving them a base which can range from the psychedelic tinged to Brit ’60s Blues rock.
Strangely Alright deliver music to add to the ‘friends over for evening’ playlist, where they add a sonic point of reference.