Comprised of Ian Mackintosh and Ben Braun, the Portland, OR-based duo of Mackintosh Braun immediately began writing and recording music together when they first met over 8 years ago. As Braun says, “We were so on theism page, it was kind of stupid. We met at the perfect time in our creative journeys.” And over the course of their time together, the duo’s music has been warmly received as their songs have appeared on Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl, Chuck, Rubicon, How to Make it In America and on the Veronica Mars soundtrack.
With the release of the duo’s forthcoming third full-length effort Arcadia, the duo find themselves expanding their sound – the duo had some space and time to come up with ideas on their own and riff on them; they also went about writing with different equipment – namely analog keyboards including a Prophet 08 and a Juno 106. As Braun explains in press notes, “We don’t have a plethora of synths in our studio, but we tried to use what we did have really well. Instead of making everything sound perfect, we wanted it to sound natural.“ And to add to that natural sound, the duo employed the use of live drumming throughout.
Arcadia also marks the first time that Mackintosh Braun has worked with an outside producer, Lars Stalfors, who has worked with The Mars Volta, Cold War Kids and Matt and Kim. And as a result, the material on the duo’s forthcoming album may be the most polished, fully-fleshed out work they’ve released to date. The album’s latest single “Through The Noise” channels both 80s synth pop and contemporary electro pop like St. Lucia as the song is comprised of layers of shimmering and undulating synths paired with sinuous bass, angular guitar chords and live drumming paired with (subtly) seductive vocals. And much like their influences and their contemporaries, the material reveals a catchy hook at the heart of a carefully crafted yet danceable pop song.