The polished synth-pop trio, Cygnets, are about to release Isolator, their third full-length album. Twelve unified tracks feature Logan Turner’s strong lead vocals and guitar, Dan Snow on the multidimensional synth and vocals, and Chris Bruce’s striking harmonies on guitar, bass and vocals.
The album opens with “Sick Device,” a catchy track with an undeniable ‘80s flair with a dash of electro-clash undertones. Cygnets recently filmed a video for this track and plan to make one for one of their darkest and poetic tracks, “Gallows.” The song closes with classical sounded piano, which is a nice segue for the opening piano solo in “Haunt You.” Soon, electrifying guitars are added to the mix and, lastly, the synth drives this track forward.
The synth that makes up “Modern Youth” goes from a clean New Order style to electronic and back. This track plays as a nice transition to “There is Something Wrong with Us,” a tune with a hauntingly alienmelody that somehow reminds me of The X-Files.
A strong baseline is the backbone of “Human,” a song with Snow’s noteworthy debut vocal solo, probing an echo of spoken word response. Another track with a different vocal style is “My Sister, My Twin.” Although Turner sings vocals, the inspiration behind the song shifted his pitch higher. Snow explains that Turner wrote it as if it were be performed by the Organ, one of the band’s influences (it is not surprising that both Cygnets and the Organ share The Smiths as common ground).
All songs on Isolator blend together seamlessly, thanks to the commonalities of fast tempos and a pop underlay below layers of post punk and new wave synths. This album excites me both nostalgically – based on the resemblance that the Cygnets have with some of my favourite bands – and in terms of the originality of a catchy and dark dichotomy that their music creates.
Cygnets continue to make their music accessible: all albums are available to download for free from http://cygnetsnotswans.blogspot.ca/. Donations can also be made on the site.
Don’t miss their album release, which is free of charge on April 12th at the Pawn Shop in Edmonton.
By Jenna Lee Williams