Angela's Staff Pick: January 19, 2023

Hi Sorry State readers! Hope everyone is doing well. Things are busy as usual around here, so thanks so much for your continued support! I’ve been in a new wave mood for the last week or so, and enjoying the nostalgia. The other day I played a ‘Til Tuesday radio mix on Spotify, and needless to say, there were some bangers in there.

So I finally decided to check out Home Front’s debut EP, Think of the Lie, released by the always excellent La Vida Es Un Mus. Home Front is a Canadian duo, and a lot of you seem to really like the record. Ya’ll have great taste, so I trust you. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew it was a new wavey pop kind of record. It is. It’s reminiscent of the Cure or New Order. And if it was playing during an 80s prom scene in a John Hughes film, it wouldn’t sound out of place.

Graeme MacKinnon, the singer, sounds a bit like Robert Smith, but more charged up and anthemic in his delivery. He sings, sometimes shouts, with a bit of attitude. Like he has something to say, and he’s gonna make sure you hear it. But still, if he dialed it down a few notches, you’d definitely hear the Robert Smith in his voice.

This EP is melodic, and it’s an easy listen. There is a really cool interplay of synthesizers and guitar, which gives the record an indie pop feel. And the darker bass lines and drum beats give it a new wave vibe. Collectively, it all works. It makes you feel nostalgic without leaving you in the past. I think Home Front’s more aggressive attitude helps pull the listener toward the future. The title track, Flaw in the Design, best exemplifies the fusion of old and new. It’s my favorite track on the album.

The second track, a Bit of Dust, totally reminds me of the Pornography era of the Cure. The intro is haunting with weird screechy and creaky noises, and a build up that keeps you interested in what’s around the corner. But when the vocals kick in, they go off and do their own thing. I know I’ve made a couple Cure comparisons, but their sound is probably more in line with New Order.

I think one of the main differences between Home Front and their predecessors is that their songs feel very centered around the chorus, and making the chorus sound big and anthemic, and something you can sing along to. It’s pretty much a full-on pop record. While the EP is sonically interesting, the band keeps things pretty tight and focused.

It’s definitely worth a listen if you’re up for some new wave pop nostalgia that’s still fresh, and with a little bit more attitude.

Thanks for reading! Until next time!


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