Written Tuesday, July 23
The sound of Actors is that of a carefully curated collection of nostalgic post-punk staples. Classic 80s synth sounds, popping snares and kicks, heavily reverberated guitars, a melancholy and nonchalant vocal performance. Everything about this album oozes cool and hip. And “cool” isn’t really a word I use a lot when describing music. In this case, though, it’s undeniable. It is an antiquated term, I suppose. Regardless, this album just sounds fucking cool.
It’s dark and morose yet dancy and upbeat at the same time. The new wave crooning of band leader Jason Corbett provides a healthy dose of 80s nostalgia. Even though a lot of the sounds used by Actors might seem like well-trodden territory, It Will Come to You always feels fresh and exciting.
From the first fade in of synths on the first track I was hooked. The production is so finely tuned. From the snappy, panned hi-hat hits, to the pattering of subtle percussions at the end, and the perfect balance of distortion and reverb, L’appel Du Vide is a powerful opener that sets the stage for an overall superb debut.
On Face Meets Glass, the attention to detail in the layering of synth tracks is outstanding. It’s a song that is so simply composed, yet the production comes front and center and it grows into this lush soundscape as the layers pile up.
Other favourites for me are Bury Me and Crystals. It’s the little details in each track that really pull me in: the clicky hi-hat in the verse of Crystals; barely noticeable samples that break up the first verse in Bury Me; subtle guitar layers panned far to the R or L. When you throw this album into a good pair of headphones you can really lose yourself in the details of every track. The time and love that has gone into the production of this album creates space for repeat listens. Even if something is so subtle that you might not even notice it, I’d like to think that subconsciously you become aware of the quality of what you’re listening to. That’s not just good music; that’s good sound engineering.
Listen to the album here: