Perhaps more popularly known as a co-founder of renowned indie electro pop act M83, Nicholas Fromageau, who left the project after the release of the act’s seminal album Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts, Fromageau (vocals, guitar) founded his own project, Team Ghost recruited fellow French musicians Christophe Guérin (vocals, guitar), Benoit de Villeneuve (vocals, guitar, keys), Félix Delacroix (drums), and Pierre Blanc (bass) to flesh out the project’s overall sound. Following the release of several EPs, 2013’s full-length debut Rituals, tours with Crystal Castles and a set the inaugural Pitchfork Paris Festival, the members of the band found themselves in a bit of a creative rut before they ultimately found inspiration in an old analog synthesizer, along with the Blade Runner soundtrack and Kanye West‘s Yeezy among other things while blending it a bit with elements of feedback-filled guitar chords played through effects pedals, inspired by Sonic Youth and Slowdive. And the end result is the retro-futuristic and cinematic “The Riser,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming self-titled sophomore effort, slated for a December 2, 2016.
While possessing an icy and abrasive feel, and vocals fed through layers of vocoder, the song not not manages to be larger-than-life and anthemic, it simultaneously manages to nod at Chateau Marmont, Milemarker, Kraftwerk, and John Carpenter soundtracks while evoking an Orwellian, post-apocalyptic world of cyborgs, clones, nuclear waste, pollution, deprivation and unending strife. However, just underneath the icy and uneasy surface, there’s an aching and human yearning for much more — for another world in which the song’s narrator could truly be free.