I know what you’re thinking (trust me, I’m very intuitive), “Music inspired by the 80s electronic sound can be so neon, futuristic and loud!” Trust fair readers that while the music of Gayngs harbors a tribute to the 80s, it is of the soft-rock variety. Now that you are wary for a completely new reason, let me introduce indie super-group, Gayngs.
Founded by Ryan Olson, the band consists of over 25 musicians including Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Rhymesayers, P.O.S., Har Mar Superstar and members of Solid Gold and The Rosebuds. This melting pot of musicians came together to produce an album that walks the line between parody and earnest tribute and managed to create something genuinely unique. While the saxophone and slow-jam feel may take you back to St. Elmo’s Fire, the distant vocals of Justin Vernon assert the sincerity of the present. This thread of modern yet retro runs through the album drawing you in with familiarity only to smack you around with contemporary rhythms.
The songs of Relayted are inspired by 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love,” and the tribute is fair enough when the vocals fade in and out of the drum machine percussion. Other tracks take cues from Casio pre-set rhythms, but refrain from falling into the cheesey side of things due to the talents of the vocalists. Overall Gayngs is a fascinating exercise in the skill of paying homage without becoming a part of the time capsule.
If you like: Bon Iver, Megafaun, Gardens & Villa, Sufjan Stevens
Check out: Gayngs Relayted
Feeling brave: 10cc (“I’m Not In Love”), Portishead, Air
AI level: Intermediate