Monday, March 19, 2012


2011 was quite a year for electronic and synthesized music as M83 and Cliff Martinez's work on the Drive soundtrack reignited mass worship of epic computer pop records. Now, in the wake of the subterranean explosion of bedroom chill wave and 80's influenced synth-pop, we are seeing numerous bands replacing their beloved axes with keyboards, midi controllers, and synthesizers, while attempting to capture the nostalgic noise that seems to be bringing generation x, the millennials, and the internet generation together. On top of rock and rollers experimenting with new sounds, this nostalgia-boom has also brought on a lot of copycats and flash in the pan laptop musicians that lack the musicianship of veteran artists like M83 and Toro Y Moi. This is proven with a few hours spent scouring synth laced sub-genres that lead you to many of the same sounds and samples floating over flaccid drums and over-worked vocals. Let's face it, there aren't many groups that can float with in the clouds with present gods of electronic pop music, but Crozet, a new duo out of Philadelphia that recently released their debut album We'll Be Gone By Then,  pack a divine punch strong enough to go toe to toe with their heavyweight competition.

What started out as a solo bedroom escapade of John Helmuth during his senior year of college eventually turned into a two-headed electronic monster with the addition of Sean Lee. On We'll Be Gone By Then, the duo masterfully blend gargantuan drums, luscious layered synths, dreamy guitar riffs, and reverb-soaked vocals into an ethereal enterprise of exquisite computer driven pop.

Crozet's tastefully crafted and sequenced records bleeds youth, romanticism, hope, spirit, and often sounds like a soundtrack to a futuristic Jon Hughes-esque coming of age film. I'm Lost, with it's blossoming guitar riffs and epic drums, introduces the introspective journey; Powerful tracks like Just Wait, Neon, and On the Line provide the rising action (obstacles, conflicts) with their grandiose arrangements and penetrating synth lines; Closed Shades and He's a Nomad provide the pace of the climax with a more melancholic vibe that's beautiful yet tragic and listens like a beach of sadness aching for a wave of hope to crash its shores; We Can See It provides the falling action (or the moment of final suspense before the dramatic conclusion) with its enthusiastic and hopeful spirit; and the title track, We'll Be Gone By Then, is the perfect accompaniment to the denouement-- the tear-jerking conclusion where our protagonist beats the odds, finds that the hard road was worth traveling for this outcome, and raises a fist in the air a la John Bender as we fade into black.

Crozet's well crafted debut shows signs of brilliance and a group that is far beyond their bedroom bandcamp counterparts.  We'll Be Gone By Then is a mature synth-pop record that shows Helmuth and Lee's knack for composing emotional and infectious pop records that will inspire, motivate, and invigorate a multitude of listeners and 80s babies.

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Anonymous said...

Really dig their 1st album...their tunes were the best part of That Awkward Moment movie. They'd fit in perfectly on some retro-80s show like Stranger Things. Hopefully will hear a new album in the near future.

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