Carl Culley - Little Adventures
With music bloggers everywhere going gaga (or maybe it's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga) over the new Britt Daniel / Dan Boeckner collaboration Divine Fits, it's clear that synthy, 1980s New Wave is in the throes of a significant revival. One newcomer to the genre who probably wasn't even born when Depeche Mode released Violator in 1990 is Carl Culley, a musical theatre grad who you can instantly tell has a knack for channeling these electronic influences on an album of 13 original songs he dubbed Little Adventures.
Culley is probably closer in style though to the "Chillwave" moment of the past few years, specifically artists like Neon Indian. Processed blips and beeps dominate, along with timekeeping drum beats; there's nary a guitar lick to be heard. Not to compare Culley to say, the riff-heavy Japandroids' Celebration Rock, but there is a loose theme that runs through his album of what it's like to be young and in and out of love during the most tumultuous period for romance for someone his age, summertime. Despite this, there is an audible maturity to his voice - It may have because of the education he received during his stage training, but it is strong and confident, with a pop appeal not dissimilar to Josh Groban (especially on "Drowning in Stars" as well as "If You Go").
To go back to Neon Indian for a second and, to a certain extent, Canadian R&Ber Abel Tesfaye (AKA The Weeknd), they realized they couldn't keep their music cooped up on their laptops, and made the necessary adjustments to be able to go out on tour behind their material. It will be interesting to see if Culley decides to follow a similar path and go on another "little adventure" if you will...
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