IN REVIEW: MODERN BLONDE - SYNTH IS MINT
The press release for Modern Blonde’s Synth Is Mint opens with the following statement:
‘Sages and poets throughout the ages have recognised the dreamlike quality of human existence.
Seemingly so solid and real and yet so fleeting that it could dissolve at any moment.
At the hour of your death the story of your life may appear to you like a dream that is coming to an end.’
Within these three sentences, Modern Blonde define the central premise of the record as a triptych consisting of the dream, the memory and the death. Explored through the convention of a pop song, they present these states to the listener as scenes for exploring the subject matter. Synth Is Mint looks to traditional pop themes in which love, fear and hope serve as narrative tools for expressing the emotional relationship between dreams, memories and death.
The appeal of pop music must lie, somewhat, in its willingness to please. To do so, it takes on a commodified form - the tracks are short, musically simplistic, the melodies direct. As with the bulk of most popular things, there is the aim of appealing to the largest number of people possible - what is often defined as the lowest common denominator. Experimental pop, as displayed in Synth Is Mint, takes the aesthetic of pop but subverts the expectation away from mass appeal - the outcome is nuanced, strange and vulnerable.
This abstracted approach feels comparable to many of our defining experiences - gone before we realised we were experiencing them. They are then confined to memory where they curiously fade whilst remaining abstracted, intensified and transmogrified. In this respect, they are consigned to the fabric of our being. Modern Blonde capture this process and offer utility for bringing such experiences from the past back into view. TS