Title: Glass Rain
Release Date: 28th February 2020
SCENIUS draws inspiration from the early Electro-Pop outfits - both pre-punk (KRAFTWERK, BRIAN ENO etc) and post-punk (NEW ORDER, DEPECHE MODE etc), through to contemporary bands (LCD SOUND SYSTEM and BOARDS OF CANADA) - to pursue in their own way the same thrilling mission: to make vintage synths and rhythm machines sound soulful and touching. The band is a cross-channel project, composed of Steve Whitfield (KLAMMER), based in Leeds, UK, (music) and Fabrice Nau (vocal parts and lyrics), based in Angers, France.
Let me start this review to make an admission; I desperately miss the analogue synthesizer sound of the 70s and 80s. Yes, I love the many and varied electronic sounds the modern musical palette can provide, but my heart will always be firmly in this vintage territory. There is a number of current bands providing me with my hit of those warm, deep and somehow more human echoes (in a non-human way). Thankfully. This single arrived on my desk after reviewing a recent performance of KLAMMER, Steve thought it may interest me. He was right, as will it interest any other synthesizer child of those long-gone times. As a teenager there seemed to be a mass of bands using synthesizers, yes there was the cold clinical sounds of GARY NUMAN, but many synth bands in the era took away the cold element replacing it with a warm, rich, deep timbre matched with soulful lyrics full of emotion.
SCENIUS have this mix spot on with ‘Glass Rain’. I loved the vintage synth sound, but once it has been touched by the magic hand of the gods of modern production it seems to melt together to provide something entirely up to date, retro but not retro. Steve’s production skills are well known and regarded, I particularly liked his work with BERLYN TRILOGY, and some parallels can be drawn between SCENIUS and BERLYN TRILOGY. Both bands aim to provide the listener with an experience that somehow goes beyond an aural encounter, they aim to touch your soul. ‘Glass Rain’ is a bouncy, catchy, simplistic kind of a ditty. You find yourself singing it hours later - a full on earworm much like anything VINCE CLARKE could offer. Fabrice has a fascinating voice that supplements the warmth of those glorious analogue synthesizers - not at all monotone like this genre can easily slip into. The synths are non-human, but with warmth; Fabrice is telling you a story with a great story telling voice - it is enticing. Involving. It digs deep into your mental state. Yes, it touches your soul.
‘Glass Rain’ will be available on all major online platforms. With a further three singles to come over the spring / summer and then followed by the album. I can hardly wait.
Steve Whitfield - Synthesizers, electronics and production
Fabrice Nau - Vocals
Total: 9 / 10