Syzygy from Melbourne, Australia have tapped into a dark realm of synth pop that sounds like an extrapolation on where Ladytron was circa 604. But rather than take that electroclash foundation into shoegaze, this duo sounds like it listened to a great deal of 1980s Giorgio Moroder and found a musical language suited to exploring emotional habits through the kind of dance pop that makes a meaningful dive into foundational psychological spaces accessible and desirable. On its new album Anchor and Adjust (released October 14, 2022), Syzygy delves into the nature of power dynamics in relationships of all kinds and of dysfunction arising from getting stuck in ruts that can feel like instincts and a core of your personality when it’s merely how you’ve trained yourself how to navigate through life. Through its brooding synths and meditative rhythms the band comprised of Rebecca Maher and Gus Kenny formerly of synth punk band Spotting find paths of working through transforming habits by offering alternative outlooks. The song “Soothe” refers to the behaviors we all adopt without realizing it to untangle anxieties through self-soothing. Some self-medicate and self-soothing is related but can manifest in movements that give us a sense of control through an act of comforting even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else because it never has to, it need only distract ourselves from overwhelming discomfort. One might see that as a method of dissociation but it’s also a method of emotional survival in a period of extreme duress. The song goes into that subject in a way that is personal and demystifies it as something normal and not a source of shame and negative self-consciousness. Rather the songs fast pace and energetic and irresistible rhythm make this burst of awareness turn into acceptance. Listen to “Soothe” on YouTube and follow Syzygy at the links below. Anchor and Adjust is now available in a limited, transparent purple vinyl edition.
Syzygy’s Electroclash Synth Pop Song “Justice of Mercy” Questions the Folly of Believing One’s Own Virtue has the Power to Change Anyone But Yourself
Australian electronic pop Syzygy was formed in 2019 in Melbourne when former Spotting members Rebecca Maher and Gus Kenny started to explore a more pure electronic pop sound. Going to the roots of that style of music Maher and Kenny have been deep into the aesthetics of 80s synth pop but with a more modern production style. And yet the music video for the single “Justice or Mercy” and its fantastic use of letters as pixels forming Maher’s image dancing really touches on memories of Yaz videos, the music of Human League and certainly Phil Oakey’s collaboration with Giorgio Moroder on the title song for 1984 science fiction film Electric Dreams, “Together in Electric Dreams,” and add in a touch of early Depeche Mode. The arrangements bring to mind Ladytron’s 604 album and the way the bass line is accented with the percussion. All comparisons and dissection of possible influence aside Maher’s vocals shine through with an emotional power and her minor chord shifts here and there truly help to set the track apart from a lot of other music in a similar style. They lyrics also explore a nuanced take on relationships and the folly of hoping someone will change even given consequences if they don’t feel they’ve done anything wrong. The synth melodies intertwine with the percussion and rhythm after the manner of modern electroclash and fans of Boy Harsher and Electric Youth may find this track what they’re looking for to branch out into new music. Watch the video for “Justice or Mercy” on YouTube and follow Syzygy at the links below. Look for the album Justice or Mercy due out later in 2022.
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