If there was ever a single that was meant to premiered here on Echosynthetic, ELYXR’s Strange Stubborn Proud featuring vocals by Information Society’s Kurt Harland Larson is it. It’s the perfect synthpop storm…you’ve got Seattle based Kasson Crooker, the mastermind behind ELYXR, who has crafted one of the catchiest tracks of the year, voiced by a man who set the standard for American synthpop in InSoc’s Kurt Harland Larson. To say that I’m proud to host this song and share it with the world would be a massive understatement. Tracks like this are my lifeblood…this is why Echosynthetic exists…to share brilliant electronic music exactly like the pop gem ELYXR has concocted here. Strange Stubborn Proud is an earworm that won’t soon let you go, and like all great singles, you’re going to keep coming back for more, enjoying every second of it.
Bucking the trend of releasing an EP every so often, or amassing enough tracks to release a full length, ELYXR is doing things old-school. Back in the 50’s and 60’s artists would often release singles as they were written and get them out there and spinning on record players. Why do you think there are so many 45’s out there? Singles used to be a vital part of the music industry but they’re a bit of a lost art these days. I think this approach guarantees nothing but quality is hitting your speakers, as each track has to stand on its own.
ELYXR’s Kasson Crooker is a multi-talented producer who not only writes his own music but also mixes and masters them at Speed of Dark Studios in Seattle. This isn’t his first foray into music by any means, though. Aside from his Symbion Project work, his work in the band Freezepop is where we find the origins of his collaboration with InSoc’s Kurt Harland Larson.
“I first heard Freezepop in the early ‘00’s, and immediately told my wife, who worked at a record store, about them. Shortly thereafter she got them to come out to San Francisco for a in-store appearance, which was, I think, their first San Francisco trip. I loved Kasson’s work with Freezepop over those years, and when he started ELYXR, I jumped at the chance to make music together for the first time,” explains Kurt Harland Larson.
“Information Society is one of my most influential bands and helped inspire me to begin making synthpop in the 80’s. In fact, InSoc was the very first band I ever went to see as a teenager,” says Kasson Crooker.
“I’ve known Kurt from InSoc now for many years as he and I both do music/audio production for videogames. We just needed to find the right song to work on together. I gave him some song options to choose from and was psyched that he found one that channeled a bit of the early InSoc “Running” sound. I love the fact that, through the lyrics, he unapologetically states his motives and how he operates outside of society’s norms and conventions!”
Strange Stubborn Proud doesn’t officially release until March 9th at all your favorite outlets, including ELYXR’s Bandcamp page. I hope you’ve enjoyed the sneak peek as much as I have! Coming from someone who fell in love with electronic music in large part due to Information Society, it’s a real treat to cover something like this alongside an artist that is a new favorite of mine in ELYXR.