The pandemic convinced Dedric Moore (Monta at Odds; Gemini Revolution, The Republic Tigers) and Krysztof Nemeth (Emmaline Twist, Monta at Odds) that a studio project would be a perfect opportunity to explore the music and themes of anxiety-driven pop: the New Wave music of the 1980s. With their side project Static Phantoms, the Kansas City outfit wanted to bring an authentic 80s synth sound to the table. The pandemic, in turn, served as a time-travel wormhole of sorts, as the duo pondered what the soundtrack to our new Cold War could sound like.
Their track “Ghostwalk” from the album Bathed In A Blue Light straddles the dichotomy of optimism and anxiety for the future. Its nervous energy is teeming with butterfly synths, fluid basslines, and Krysztof Nemeth’s nervous vocals.
“When these songs first came together, I wrote lyrics for them, not knowing who was going to sing them,” he says. “Eventually, it became apparent in the spirit of what we were doing that I should just take on the vocal responsibilities. I took it as a fun challenge.”
“Ghostwalk” takes inspiration from The Glove, Tones on Tail, Tears For Fears, and Soft Cell.
“We wanted to pull out the sonic tricks that made the 80’s such a rich period of experimentation,” says Nemeth. ”New Wave and Pop Music were often created by duos or trios that utilized the studio to create a vibrant and massive sound from a minimal amount of core musicians.”
“What makes this project different for me is the ability to explore more of the rock side of New Wave and Post-Punk,” Moore adds. “It alters my synth playing and challenges how I approach chords and melodies. I also love sprinkling tasty little bits on the chord progressions that Krysztof came up with. It was freeing not to have to be in charge and just have fun with songs that touched on my inspirations.”
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