By: Nerhys Hall
Los Angeles-based electronic musician and producer John Glenn Kunkel, aka The New Division recently released a new EP, Fader. His new wave, synth-pop sound is infectious and nostalgic. Melancholic vocals and towering synths reminisce of 80s bands like the Cure and Depeche Mode. The EP’s six songs fit together quite well; The New Division makes sure to separate his quicker songs and his slower songs to create a nice balance throughout. Each track has its own distinguishing features to make it sound unique and the gloomy-sounding male vocals tie the album together.
Beginning with the energetic, new wave track, “One Night In Tokyo”, The New Division immediately makes his signature sound clear. His moody vocals weave in and out of layers upon layers of synth beats and riffs. The third song and title track, “Fader”, follows a similar quick pace, but has a much simpler beginning. Song four, “Sextet” begins with a high energy synth intro and the layers gradually build up. “Video Vex”, the final song, has similarities to the first, third, and fourth songs with it’s simple, percussive intro, and building intensity throughout. Songs two and five are slower. The second track, “Jealous”, features synth string chords and a percussive intro. It sounds much like a power ballad. “Signs”, song five, has a more pop-like intro with an expansive sound. Both “Jealous” and “Signs” give the listener a bit of a break from the high energy of the other four tracks. Placing the slow songs in those positions in the track listing makes sense.
If you enjoy new wave and synth pop, I highly recommend you check out The New Division’s Fader EP. You won’t be disappointed.