Title: Darkest Lines
Release Date: 26th June 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 duo is composed of UK producer Steve Whitfield (THE CURE, THE MISSION…) and French singer Fabrice Nau.
This year, perhaps the strangest year I have experienced, is whizzing by - here I am reviewing the fourth single from SCENIUS. They certainly have been busy chaps in the last few months. Speaking to them privately there is an album yet to come, due soon - I hope they have time to take a breath in amongst all this creativity!
This band has excited me from my first listen. My musical roots stem from the late 70s / early 80s alternative electronic bands. I love much of the newer electronic sounds, but for me my heart is in those lovely warm soulful sounds of those analogue synths. SCENIUS seem to have been born to fill the gap left in my life. If you love the overall feel and sound of JOHN FOXX, early OMD, GARY NUMAN, KRAFTWERK, early HUMAN LEAGUE and their kin, you will love SCENIUS and in particular their latest single. They are currently in my top five for my playlists, and I note they have been picked up by many other people to in their playlists and also radio airplay. The mix of those delightful synths meeting Fab’s incredible voice gives an instantly appealing sound.
‘Darkest Lines’ returns to the recipe of the earlier two singles, their last single was an amazing track, but couldn’t be regarded as bouncy like ‘Darkest Lines’ or the earlier singles. Here we are again, somehow the melodic, entrancing sound to SCENIUS has a familiar resonance, but with a different flavour. I adore the swirling synths; the synthetic drum beat and that melody? It sticks with me for the rest of the day. Take SCENIUS back to the early 80s in a time machine and chart success would have been guaranteed, they stand tall with the innovators of the era and can mix in the company of the likes of DEPECHE MODE comfortably. Fab’s voice, as ever adds the special touch. Taking the best elements of the era, add modern production values and there you have it - the perfection of analogue synthesiser music. If you haven’t caught the SCENIUS story yet, I would highly recommend you jump in quickly. Now guys if you’re reading this - get that album out soon please! Fantastic stuff.
Special mention for the artwork accompanying the single, its dark and gritty and adds a remarkable visual backdrop. This band has great vision all round it seems, great story telling.
01. Darkest Lines
Steve Whitfield – Synthesizers, electronics and production
Fabrice Nau – Vocals
Total: 9 / 10