I changed your mind half a dozen times

but it doesn’t even matter

Brooklyn-based post-punk outfit Fair Visions share “Channel”, the second single off of their upcoming EP Modern Kids, due out September first. With this track, songwriter Ryan Work dexterously probes the abyss of doubt and loneliness, drawing on rhythms from the shadows of New York City. Drawing inspiration from authors like Hesse, Borges, Kurt Weill, and Nietszche, as well as the sonic imprints of David Bowie, Bob Dylan, and Carla dal Forno, Fair Visions bring a pointillistic precision to the tradition of New York New Wave.

Channel‘s wry Kafkaesque lyrics bring awful presence to familiar complaints. A horror film of a rollicking dance-floor banger, Channel delivers with its wide-panned electric guitars and devilishly sequenced drums. Channeling Bronski Beat, Erasure, Giorgio Moroder, and Visage, the track pulsates with pathos and introspection. This cyclical, paranoid mentality stems from Work’s early days in New York, which he describes as “haunted” and akin to the feeling of “beating your head against a wall for years without realizing you’re the only one who can stop it.” Channel depicts this free-floating mindset, via an extended interlude that draws on house music.

Fair Visions began soon after Work’s arrival in New York from his Tennessee hometown in 2017. Borne, like so many before him, struggled with uncertainty about his path into the city’s seething mass of crises and contradictions. After opening for fellow post-punk revivalists Nation of Language in 2018, Work joined forces with Abe Seiferth (LCD Soundsystem, Guerilla Toss, Car Seat Headrest). The project has since featured a rotating membership of collaborators surrounding Work and Seiferth.

Ironically released mere weeks before the onset of the pandemic, Fair Visions’ debut EP A Way Out parried self-destruction with giddy drum machines and rippling synthesizers. Its follow-up, Modern Kids, deepened the gloom, harnessing a growing array of textures and effects to produce some of Fair Visions’ most bombastic work.

The six varied tracks of Modern Kids form the second half of a statement begun with Fair Visions’ debut A Way Out, released amidst the gloom and disintegration of 2020. But where A Way Out was illuminated by innocence (or, perhaps, naiveté)  — Modern Kids embraces darkness with a Pandora-like curiosity, introducing a wide chromatic rainbow of hooks and textures, from piano and stompbox fuzz to spectral background vocals and acid house breakdowns.

Listen to their earlier release, Modern Kids, below.

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