Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Unpredictable Genius Of Sunglasses Kid

When it comes to the upper echelon of producers in the field of evolved 80s sounds there is one that's not only rushing to the top but also, and most importantly, taking others along with him for the ride. Sunglasses Kid appeared on the scene earlier in 2013 and set about recreating the 80s pop magic with romantic and funky tracks that have progressively formed into his own stylistic vision. The Sunglasses Kid ideology has always been about the true and authentic emotional moods of the 80s with a modicum or modernity added for a more dynamic experience.

To get this dynamism Sunglasses Kid set about forming relationships with other artists and recognising the magic they could bring to his aesthetic. I've long championed the idea of producers working with other musicians and vocalist to not only expand their own horizons but to get that creative flow of like minded individuals rockin. Sunglasses Kid has been one of the single best exponents and examples of how working with others with the same passions can make for something as stunningly magical and full of promises and opportunities in the future.

The EP is entitled 'Unpredictable' and this is definitely true to the soundscapes presented by the Kid in the five singles contained herein. From energetic party anthems, to sultry night moods, to driving rock synths and into the pastel pinks of an eternal teenage crush there are scant 80s action and romance stones left unturned as Sunglasses Kid and friends explore passions, perils and parties.

The opening track is 'Summer Nights' featuring the talents of Leon Monroe and Highway Superstar. This sets the pitch perfect scene as heavily DeBarge inspired funk pop begins to rock the party from sunset to sunup. Moods are light with a breezy crispness to the instruments that feels positively tropical. It's this instant moment that Sunglasses Kid puts you in that creates much of the magic of his music and his vision for making his music so tactile is something especially wonderful.

Following up 'Summer Nights' is the moody desperation of 'Come Back To Me' in which the Kid has enlisted The Boy And Sister Alma for starring roles. The cries of tortured passion and heart wrenched submission take a turn for the dark corners of the night where shadows as the only company and tears the only solace. Lyrics are cast like a shroud of crumpled sheets with a longing and anguish that are whispered in vain to unhearing ears and unfeeling hearts. The music reflects the racing heartbeats and hope but also despair in their own tortured folly. A magnificent work that is part Pat Benatar and part Don Henley but all Sunglasses Kid.

A trend I'm absolutely adoring this year is the amount of times I've had the pleasure of hearing Kristine's beautiful voice and yet again I'm set a quiver with her intimated confessions of passion in 'Time In Time'. Taking inspiration from later 80s sounds this song is driven by a totally rockin rhythm section and stabs that go soul deep. The story is full of intimate moments however never becomes too salacious but it's easy to see the more illicit passions writhing suggestively underneath the radio friendly pop exterior.

'See You Next Saturday' rocks on next and this piece is definitely one of the more adrenalin fuelled journey's into the past. The music sits just this side of OutRun frenzy but balances the soundscape with some supremely kick arse guitars courtesy of the supremely kick arse D/A/D. The smoothness of this track is what gives it a wistfully lighter than air aesthetic while also containing thousands of horsepower under the hood. The excitement is beautifully described as the magical forces of synths and guitars combine to rock you into a new dimension of exciting possibilities.

The final track on Unpredictable is the hugely inspirational 'Class Notes'. For this piece Sunglasses Kid has brought the saxophone talents of Bret Grace into the fold of evolved 80s experiences and the product of this is totally k-rad to the max. Not to discount the use of any synth sax in the scene (and even on other tracks on this release) but the vibrancy and tone of the real instrument being played by one of it's devotees surpasses and digital version immeasurably. The music funks and grooves with great dexterity but it's the gorgeous sax played throughout that elevates this experience into a whole new world. There is just a touch of Library music in this piece and it could easily be the main theme to the latest 80s steamy private eye series from the typewriter of Stephen J Cannell.

'Class Notes' completes the EP and it does so in a way most befitting of such a rockin release and thats on a deliciously high note. The 'Unpredictable' EP is an aural gold mine of 80s goodness that keeps the experiences at fever pitch from beginning to end. It's a testament to Sunglasses Kid's creative process and if I was doing the report card for this semester's work from the Kid it would certainly end with an 'A+, works well with others'.

Unpredictable is presented on Sunglasses Kid's Bandcamp page here and I can't possibly recommend this highly enough. This is most definitely a Synthetix Reference Experience as the five synthual suites on this EP are each as stunning and as sumptuous as each other. Given the scope and sheer amount of territory covered between these creative ideas, let alone the variety of other talent involved, we are presented with an astoundingly beautiful experience in what makes the new vision of 80s music just so goddamned rockin.

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