Comprised of producer Zachary Andrew (Black Light Dinner Party, High Highs) and vocalist, Richard Saunders, the New York-based duo of Refs have quickly won the attention of the blogosphere with the release of their debut single “Pain Goes Away,” a slickly produced, brooding track comprised of layers of cascading synths, hip-hop inspired beats, swirling electronics and Saunders’ effortless vocals. And as a result, the track hit the top of the Hype Machine charts, after receiving over 200,000 Soundcloud plays. Of course, when you listen to the song the fact that it caught the attention of the blogosphere shouldn’t be surprising as sonically and thematically, the song bears an uncanny resemblance to the eerie and brooding work of Beacon; in fact, as Zachary Andrew explains in press notes, “the song is about being in love with someone, who may not love you back.” And in some way, the song subtly expresses a sense of modern isolation.
Interestingly, the video for the song is based around what’s a common sensation for many New Yorkers – the sensation of somehow always being connected, of always being around people and yet being deeply isolated. But the video isn’t entirely humorless; it’s humor is deeply ironic, as the video shows the mechanics of love and relationships through a woman, who falls in love with a mannequin. Whether or not she knows that it’s a mannequin isn’t the point but it’s the sense that even in romantic relationships, one can feel the worst possible loneliness – of being with someone and still somehow feeling alone and misunderstood.