The Synthwave Radioshow
Best track: dream on
click album cover to listen
i learned a valuable lesson recently. Don't take your foot off the gas in this scene. ferris bueller quoted it perfectly actually 'life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it'. and the same can be said for this album. i saw the mentions in amongst the ever-growing sea of releases and didn't get a chance to give it a good go.
Well now I have, and my bloody god this thing is absolutely brilliant in every sense of the word. delirious dreamwave fighting one corner, stimulating synthpop battling away in the other. straight off the back of two collabs with 'futurecop!' we have the incredible debut album from 'siamese youth'.
introductions are so important nowadays. with vast swathes of listening options and choices sat before them on spotify and bandcamp, it's easy for people to press play, think 'meh' and move on to the next piece. it's more critical now than ever that an opener be as good as the albums signature piece. in '1984', siamese youth have a fully-open window in to what to expect from this set of tracks. a sombre and mesmerising synth made in to a ballad by some wonderful vocals. it's certainly a bit outside of the box for an intro but it has no difficulty in reeling you in.
'coco' and my personal favourite 'dream on' are both bang-on-the-money popwave songs with elements of 'michael oakley' and 'moonrunner83' from the current scene and some awesome 80's nods to the likes of 'giorgio moroder'. both have a very rich and pure production that makes them stand slightly to the side of conventional dreampop. the latter track is propped up by some wonderfully melancholic vocals that remind me of the lead singer of the indie-pop group 'the pains of being pure at heart' and i have no doubt in my mind that this is in the top three synthwave tracks of the year so far.
When I saw a track titled 'lovers', i had hoped i was about to engross myself in a rendition of timecop1983's beautifully made track of the same name. fortunately the come-down wasn't too hard on this old soul as it was infact still a lovely instrumental that had a real calming influence over me. 'dead star' and 'yesterday' are again a true showing of what this band is all about. well-thought out lyrics, infectious melodies and effervescent synths. we won't be seeing a drop in standards from these two geniuses in the near future i can assure you of that!
the biggest personal dilemma on this compilation is the outro by the name of '1984 (reprise)'. I'm yet to fully work out if this is actually a tweaked repeat or something entirely standalone from the intro. and i'm at a crossroads as to which one i prefer...they're both that good i tells ya! but should an outro be one of the best tracks on an album i wonder. perhaps if this is a hint of an even better follow up album...then this guy don't give a crap!
as debut albums go, the overall quality is akin to some of the more experienced artists in the field. 'futurecop!' obviously saw something in this duo if collaborations were agreed before they even produced anything of any note in terms of synthwave. slow and euphoric dreamwave one minute...blood-pumping popwave the next, this album doesn't stand still and take a breather. the timing of tracks (bar possibly the outro because it should be in the thick of it with all the other singles) is impeccable and i'm adamant that if this were to fall in to the right hands, we could hear this on some of the more mainstream radio stations out there. this is a masterclass of inaugural splendour! 9.5/10 Joe Ward
a visual representation of the album:
if you're in to this, you'll also like:
Michael Oakley, Moonrunner83, PRIZM, Futurecop! and Wolfclub