I’ve been on a bit of an Electronica / Synth-Pop binge recently, and Priest’s debut L.P, eponymously-titled, fits that habit like a glove.
Priest, formally X priest X, is a pseudonym of singer Madeline Priest and producer David Kazyk. Their songs feel like glorious walls of electronic sound.
I think I’m right in saying that this could be categorized as Dream-Pop – it creates a certain mood and atmosphere with walls of layered synthesizers and other such instruments throughout the album. When I say Dream-Pop, you may start imagining ethereal soundscapes with no real punch. Well get that thought out of your head right now – just get it out.
The beats here are solid. There’s nothing mad going on with the beats – no surprise, off-beat time signatures – but this album is all about the atmosphere it’s creating. These beats give a solid drive for travellingthrough that atmosphere.
Electronic Upbeat Melancholy*
The lyrics and singing style feel melancholic, but the layered background and driving beat give the overall sound an upbeat and positive feeling. I’m not of the belief that all music needs to be happy happy joy joy – in fact I love a bit of sad music now and again – this is simply the impression I get when listening to Priest’s album.
Madeline sings kind of softly over the deep electro-geography of the opening song, “The Game”. Not soft as in weak. It’s soft as in using her voice as another layer within the song. With other songs, like “Heartbeats” and “Waiting For The End To Come”, her voice belts out with gusto. It’s nice to hear an artist who can give it some whelly, but only when it’s needed.
Even though I’ve only been listening to this album for about a month or so, it already feels like an old friend. It’s one of my current go-to albums to listen to while I’m coding (building websites).
At home in the 80s
This album feels like it would be at home equally in the 80s as it is now.
In fact one of my favourite songs from the album – “Waiting For The End To Come” – always brings up an image in my mind of two 80s kids dancing at some nondescript disco as the closing credits start on some John Hughes film. Think Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer from Pretty in Pink.
The end of our sermon
You should now head off and take 40 minutes or so to listen to this modern 80s electro classic. You wont be disappointed. I myself am already looking forward to Priest’s next album. I’m really interested in seeing how the sound will progress with future releases.
Thanks for taking the time to read this review.