Artist: State of the Union
Album: My Time Away
Label: WTII Records
Release date: April 8th, 2014
State of the Union’s architect Johann Sebastian releases this long awaited follow-up to 2008’sseminal Evol Love Industry, taking the project in newer, braver, and sometimes seemingly contradictory yet always intuitively exploratative directions
Elevateis all rich rolling electronics and cold-hearted synthpop-boy vocals, guiding you into the opening chords of My Time Away, which you know straight away will be a hyper intense, euphoric elevating experience. Building bass and an upper pitch, utterly lose-yourself-danceable melody blend seamlessly with hopeful yet melancholic vocals into an outright stomping, transformative experience. This song is definitely an instant classic.
Back to Earth and Descent keep up the other-worldly calming-yet-invigorating high register synthwork backing but combines it with a more directly animalistic melody and ongoing samples of what I guess is aircraft-control radio chatter. It’s quite clever but the samples personally get on my nerves!
Stupid Song is calmer and a bit more lyrical. Emotive futurepop which never lapses into melancholy - Sebastian’s vocals are enticing and genuinely impassioned, drawing you in further as you go through the album. Five Minutes to Midnight is at a similar pace, introspective, exploratative, darker and slightly less exultant than the start, but still utterly convincing and those spine-tingling backing synths are still explicitly present.
They take a brief break for Miracle, which showcases the group’s ability to slow things a bit, more brooding, slightly colder yet still completely hypnotically haunting.
Eternally kicks off with a solid piano refrain, around which the rest of the track thrashes around, bringing back to the energised, ecstatic rises of the early album.
Blue Lights further exemplifies the willingness of the group to explore and expand into the more techno/trance side of the futurepop field. Like much of the rest of the album, it is hooky, goose-bump-rising yet still informed and explorative.
Dancing in the Dark (Floor Mix) is very dark trance - rolling, hyped up synths back a pulse-racing alarm-sound heartbeat which mixes well, bringing new elements to the old EP release.
French Underground Assault actually feels like a different band! It’s a lot meaner and, rages highs as oppose to eyes-closed-arms-floating ones abound!
Dancing in the Dark, the bands only EP release since 08’s Evol Love Industry, for those who haven’t already heard it, seems to draw the two bipolar sounds of this album (the floaty, gothic, spine-tingling trance/futurepop and the stomping, aggressive techno/EBM/industrial) into one doubly-transformative affair. This cements the band’s reputation as a versatile and exciting outfit, capable of putting their skills to a variety of diverse uses!
RadioMan (Floor Pounding Mix) finishes us off with more storming EBM beats, complemented by powerful, yearning emotive vocals, perfectly demonstrating the group’s ability to combine the light and dark.
Listen to: Miracle
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