Sunday, April 23, 2017
The Legends - Nightshift
When some people hear the term "synth pop", their assumption is that the music will be sweet, a bit fey, and probably blandly canned like a lot of mainstream pop. Well, that may accurately describe some of the synth pop they encounter in the daytime, but tonight we are welcoming them to the nightshift. Or, specifically, to Nightshift, the latest album from Johan Angergard in his guise as The Legends. This synth pop is a knife's edge wrapped in velvet, made for late nights, dark clubs, frenetic dancing, sweaty encounters, passionate clinches, and assignations made and broken. And throughout, Angergard wields his synths like a ninja wields his knives -- big strokes, little stabs, deft cuts, feints, and the killer thrusts, each precisely and the moment requires. Like the costumes and makeup denizens of the night employ to create an image, Angergard processes the sounds, fattening the bass, stretching the percussion hits, and running the vocals through a vocoder.
In different hands, all the electronic wizardry could become a distraction. But in Angergard's hands the focus remains on the songs, and like the sweet hooks and melodies, everything is done in service to making the best possible songs. And to add depth, and a bit of sugar to sweeten the mix, The Legends enlist guest vocals from Kristina Borg (Red Sleeping Beauty), Elin Berlin (Eternal Death), and Maria Usbeck. Nightshift is generous in length, and generous and adventurous in spirit. It should fill your nights well into the summer.
My favorite songs are "Summer In The City", "In Love With Myself", "Space Jam", and the haunting "Cocaine".
Nightshift is out now via Labrador Records. You can even play it in the daytime.