More like this – Laurel Halo, GAMES, Washed Out’s Within And Without
Bored of all the interchangeable synthwave? I’d suggest listening to Errors. As former ‘post-rockers’, I figure the little hype around these albums is a lack of the right crowd. It’s a shame they didn’t find one, since I know it’s not every day I hear synth-pop this expansive. Their songs deviate from verse-chorus structures, building as they go with relentless, hypnotizing progressions. Even shorter songs like “Putman Caraibe” turn a semi-normal verse into a mini-symphony. Meanwhile, “Pegasus” evolves from 4AD dream pop to Tangerine Dream in six minutes. They have me wishing ‘progressive synth-pop’ was a genre.
The way they process their vocals enhance this effect. Most songs fill them with reverb, fading them in until the lyrics only come in shards, as if disembodied gods are singing these songs. “Slow Rotor” and “Dull Care” show this best with guest singer Bek Oliva repeating cryptic, sometimes tragic omens like ‘if nothing I can think about is real’ and ‘I’ll never get to sleep again’. I have few clues as to the meanings for such lines but they know how to keep me wondering and haunt me. Their singing along with quirky voxes and bells adds a cyborg-like contrast of feeling v.s. unfeeling. Combined with the fierce, cinematic tension in the instrumentals, the results have this unshakeable feeling of an existential threat, with the singers struggling (“Hemlock”) and deeply longing through it all.
Errors mutated synth-pop into a sinister, strangely beautiful vortex with these albums. All in all, another group showing how emotive this music can be no matter how virtual it sounds. I’m hoping they can return soon given how long it’s been since Lease of Life.