December 1, 2016

SAXSYNDRUM REFLECT ON SYNTH-POP IN “UP TO YOU”

When it debuted on Noisey on November 28th, the blog stated that the experimental Montreal band, Saxsyndrum had “gone pop.” The duo, consisting of saxophone player Dave Switchenko and drummer Nick Schofield combine multiple, electronic-jazz fuelled styles. Their first two EP’s Future Circus and SXD demonstrate this out-of-the-box thinking. When it comes to making music, Switchenko and Schofield use their instruments to create interesting grooves and outlandish soundscapes.

Thus why “Up To You,” their new 7-inch release is such a drastic change for Saxsyndrum. The saxophone dominates much of the instrumentation, and stands out as a powerful melody on it’s own. The instrument flutters over a soft, synth-like beat, and stays prominent throughout the entire track. But, unlike most of their other music, the release features the latest addition to the band, singer A.P. Bergeron. When Bergeron’s voice enters, his raspy sound is delicate and jazzy. He introduces another pop melody to reel you in.

Saxsyndrum explains that the song is about “the fate of a relationship being questioned and ultimately relinquished.” They talk about the process of songwriting, how it was first created out of the pain of the relationship, but that the lyrics were written once it had ended.

It’s a typical tale for a pop song, and follows the formant we expect to hear from one, however, it doesn’t blend into the background with everything else. The jazz elements allow Saxsyndrum to diversify the genre and make some magical fusion happen. The power of the saxophone shines on the track, as do their 80’s synth-pop influences: Prince, Soft Cell, Junior Boys and Jessy Lanza.

Check out “Up to You” here:

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