With so many great (yes, great) synth-pop bands – Metronomy and CHVRCHES to name a few, taking the music industry, chewing it up and spitting it back out again. Now is the turn of Benjamin Dunn – otherwise known as ‘The Wild Wild’.
Originating from Illinois, Dunn draws his inspiration and sound from his days hitchhiking the American landscape, spending endless nights camped out under the night sky, birthing his creation of ‘Into the Sea, Into the Stars’.
The debut comes at a time where Dunn has clearly been molded by the likes of MGMT and Friendly Fires, who for his generation have made a large footprint with their epic, busy and clean cut beats, with those vocals you feel like he’s a friend of twenty years, they’re so familiar.
As many listeners let an album pass them by, this piece does have the danger of slipping in to that category of ‘oh…it’s finished, not sure I even paid attention to one song’. Luckily for those fearing that, as each song blends into the last and the album progresses, there is a change in the tides.
A clean-cut and easy to listen to (not everyone’s cup of tea) intro displays signs of interesting moments, with ‘Caspian’ showing a glimmer of hope that something intriguing may yet happen. Unfortunately this moment doesn’t quite materialise until around the halfway mark, it is plucked out of the pack, and paraded around like a proud parent so often does, with the satisfyingly sense-tingling ten minute track ‘Ghost of 1941’ and the much shorter – by no means less enjoyable, ‘Wilderness Lights’. These are the two highlights of the album, painting pictures of old fond memories, and the voice of Dunn does nothing but make the floating trip that much sweeter.
Indie-synth pop isn’t going away. So if you’re not already, you’d better start opening your arms, and embrace it before you miss out. This would be a good place to start.
‘Into the Sea, Into the Stars’ is out now. Buy it here on iTunes.