Comprised of Larissa Loyva and Elisha May Rembold, the members of the duo Fake Tears are extremely accomplished in their own right. Loyva has released two solo albums under the moniker, Kellarissa and has been a member of P:ano, The Choir Practice, Destroyer and How to Dress Well. And Rembold is a member of The Lost Lovers Brigade and Shimmering Stars. The duo of Loyva and Rembold began collaborating together when Loyva was recruited for backup vocal duties in The Lost Lovers Brigade, and it continued as the duo were backing vocalists in Cool TV.
Interestingly, the Fake Tears project can trace its origins back to 2012, when the duo of Loyva and Rembold attempted to start an all-female supergroup ensemble. As Loyva explains in press notes, “I thought I’d make an all-woman supergroup. We stated with five, and then after a couple of months and a couple of practices, we were down to two. And it just stuck.” As a newly-formed duo, the duo began to focus on an atmospheric, synth based sound and pairing that with their ethereal harmonies. And by playing frequent live gigs, they perfected their production prowess and their overall sound — and ultimately, it resulted in the duo’s forthcoming full-length debut, Nightshifting, which was produced by labelmate Jay Arner.
“Second Wind,” Nightshifting‘s latest single consists of gorgeous, soaring harmonies paired with shimmering and cascading synths and propulsive drum programming, and sounds as though the duo were drawing from Eurythmics, Depeche Mode, New Order and Giorgio Moroder. In other words it’s eerily moody and seductive electro pop that manages to possess a cinematic quality. I can envision “Second Wind” being part of a soundtrack of a dystopian thriller in which the movie’s protagonist accidentally stumbles upon the love of their lives while trying to save the world.
“Second Wind” captures the band’s combination of dark and light, as a tambourine-ratting dance groove is layered with glittering synth hooks and ghostly, impassioned pleas of “Do you want me? / Do you care?” Elsewhere, “Night Box” and “Uncanny Valley” are urgently sinister, while “Rite of the First Night” anchors its classic teen movie keyboards with a slinky R&B swagger, and “Small Fires” is a serene, heavy-lidded lullaby.
When making Nightshifting, Elisha and Larissa drew on their wealth of songwriting experience, penning material separately and then tying it all together with tight harmonies that act together like a single voice. “She writes, I write, then we bring them together and work them out,” Larissa explains. “There’s the songs Elisha’s written, there’s the songs I’ve written, but we make them our own.”
Elisha chimes in, “We ended up being totally on the same page.” Tellingly, all of the songs are credited jointly to Fake Tears, and it’s impossible for listeners to tell who composed which song.
This is the key to Fake Tears’ success: separately, they have distinct and beautiful voices, but together, they seamlessly combine to make something that’s even greater than the sum of its parts.