New Music: Pattern Language / Total Squaresville

Boy do I have a treat for old school synthpop fans! On June 16th Pattern Language are releasing their debut mini-album, Total Squaresville via Happy Robots Records. It’s available for pre-order right now on Bandcamp, including a limited edition CD version! Pre-ordering gets you access to the lead single, By The Time We Get There so it’s well worth your while to claim a copy ahead of time.

By The Time We Get There is how Total Squaresville introduces itself to the world. It’s a pitch perfect step back into the early 1980’s…a simpler time when artists like Thomas Dolby and Kraftwerk rule the electronic world. There’s an austere darkness that gives the song a great deal of weight, which I love. Easily one of my favorite singles I’ve had the chance of reviewing this year. Deeply Recessed Windows is a slower paced exploration, with echoing synths that set a somber but somewhat hopeful tone. I especially loved the synths that find their home in the higher registers. Another thing I enjoyed is how the song becomes more and more layered as it progresses. The Castellers is old school synthpop with layers of competing sounds that find a way to work together. As they intertwine with one another they create new sounds that push and pull with each other to create an interesting sort of harmony. Squaresville is an uptempo track with an early 80’s Depeche Mode instrumental vibe. I absolutely love tracks like this that have so much personality that you don’t even notice that there aren’t vocals. It doesn’t need them. Le Choc De Etoils closes out Total Squaresville with an impressive bass track that had my head nodding as I listened. I also love the echoing percussion…it’s so low key that you barely notice it’s there but at the same time it manages to be such a constant addition to the depth of the song. The way the other elements of the song build themselves around that bass line and subtle percussion make this another standout track for me.

Pattern Language (Chris Frain) 2 - photo credit Chris Sessions

Chris Frain – The man behind Pattern Language

Happy Robots Records have another winner on their hands. If you are even casually a fan of early 80’s synth work, Total Squaresville is a must purchase. Pattern Language has managed to syphon the best of that time period and blend it with modern sensibilities into a great sound. All of the songs compliment each other well and is surely an impressive debut. Don’t forget to pre-order it at Bandcamp today!

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