*Proof of COVID vaccination or negative COVID test required for entry. FREE onsite testing may be available at Mississippi Studios - Details & testing schedule here*
Video Age’s third album, due on August 7, 2020, from Winspear, pairs neon-bright 80s pop melodies with a vast range of influences (including Janet Jackson, David Bowie, and Paul McCartney) to create an optimistic sound all their own. The influences vary song to song, but they’re all tinted with the same rosy hue. Farbe says, “I’m often trying to create a more idealized version of the world I’m in.”
New Orleans-based Farbe and Micarelli have been playing music together for the past ten years after meeting in college. Experimentation and play is very important to them in the recording process, as is collaboration. Farbe sings in addition to playing bass, guitar, keyboards, and percussion. Micarelli sings in addition to playing guitar, keyboards, and percussion. Additionally, Nick Corson also plays bass, guitar, and keyboards, while Duncan Troast plays additional keyboards. Farbe also recorded and mixed the album himself in his home studio in New Orleans and was mastered by Josh Bonati in Brooklyn.
Pleasure Line is a salve that protects against cynicism—listening to this album, you can’t help but feel the world around you is full of romantic potential. In the hands of Video Age, even the mundanities of touring are transformed into a mood-lifting ode to their 1995 white “Aerostar.” When asked how he manages to stay so positive on the road, Micarelli says, “Playing music is a joy and a privilege.” That kind of sincerity bleeds from every song on this album, creating not only nostalgia for good times past, but also hope for a better future. On the last song, “Good to Be Back,” Farbe sings, “I’ve made my mistakes / I live and I learn / That people can change.” The song is meant to sound like a theme song to a 70s sitcom, and you can almost see Farbe and Micarelli opening the door and smiling at the camera: “What can I say, it’s good to be back.”
Shy Boys are like musical astronauts, with instrumentation from the beyond. Talk Loud has the heart-string-yanking ability of music concocted in a laboratory, but it still feels heavily human. It’s complicated, it’s swirly, it surrounds you and extends itself deep into your brain. There are noticeably more synths (and less guitar) than previous Shy Boys albums. There is a lot of hand percussion sprinkled throughout the record: shaker, wood block, finger cymbal. Drums and bass do a secret handshake. Lyrics about malaise are juxtaposed with joyful sounds. The record is cinematic, sparkly, jumpy, and spooky. At times Talk Loud connotes a children’s TV program or puppet show: haunting and funny become one. In their own words, “Shy Boys is a bubble…to the point that we might just be making music for ourselves.” Their musical perspective and context is limited and insular, which translates into music that feels limitless, experimental, and unlike anything.
- Greta Kline, Frankie Cosmos