This site has developed a reputation for it’s eclectic curation of music, and naturally that ties back into my own extremely diverse tastes and interests. So as always, we’re going to switch gears and change up the pace a bit (and that should be expected around here).
If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few months, you’d likely be familiar with the electro pop duo project of Rodney Connell and Brandon Duhon, better known as Night Drive. And as previously mentioned the duo started collaborating after some unusual, seemingly soap-opera like circumstances — they discovered that they had both been unknowingly dating the same woman simultaneously when the woman had suddenly (and tragically) died.
Inspired by the likes of Joy Division, Cut Copy, Brian Eno, the Knife, the Drums, LCD Soundsystem. Depeche Mode and others, their sound can be described as slickly produced, densely layered synth pop. And as a result, the duo have received quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere — especially for their cover of Radiohead’s “Where I End and You Begin,” which turned a brooding and anxious song into a slickly produced, hypnotically pulsating dance pop track, in the vein of Giorgio Moroder while retaining the spirit of the original. “After Dark” the band’s previously released original single. is reminiscent of Joy Division and New Order thanks in part to the angular and throbbing bass line, swirling electronics and an overall chilly feel. However, lyrically the song is more of a swooning love song, which is a rather interesting pairing.
The duo’s latex single “Young Rivals” is comprised of layers upon layers of shimmering synths, angular guitar, and sounds as though it could have easily been the soundtrack of a 80s drama , thanks in part to the song’s lyrics, which describe rails constantly at odds, perhaps to a tragic end. Sonically, the track further cements the duo’s reputation for slickly produced, 80s-inspired synth pop — in fact, honestly, the song bears an uncanny resemblance to The Human League, New Order and several others.
Like countless other electro pop acts, the duo of Night Drive enlisted someone to devise a remix. And in the case of ASTR, their remix is still synth based, however the synths are much more melodic and sound as though they owe a subtle debt to the production style of Teddy Riley – in other words New Jack Swing or strangely enough to Nu Shooz’s major pop hit, “I Can’t Wait."
Melodic synths are paired with layers upon layers of percussion – bursts of electronic drums that sound like hand claps are punctuated with bursts of kick snare and 808 breakbeats. ASTR’s remix retains the song’s original slickness and its original vocal sample but in some way, it turns the sentiment of the song on it’s head. Instead of romantic rivals, the rivals are the heart of the song are just about to battle on the dance floor.