Departures is the debut album of electronica artist Argyle St- aka Denver, Colorado musician Shawn Z. Influenced by the European electronia style of Depeche Mode and Morrissey, as well as the more modern style of producer Joey Belville's The Echoning Green, Argyle St.'s Departure is a polished, relevant release sprinkled with social-consciousness in the realm of the oft over-looked genre of "dance" music.
Click here to add a video. Click to add lyrics if not listed.
Dance, Trance, Drum & Bass, Ambient, Techno, Acid- all flavors of the genre of Electronica. With the exception of breakthrough exposure of a particular piece of music by an artist like Moby or Andy Hunter, very little attention is paid to the genre by mainstream, American audiences despite its pervasive influence on Hip Hop and Top 40 music. If you were to ask the average music listener to name more than one well known Electronica artist, chances are you’d get plenty of blank stares, but if you’d play Hunter’s “Go” (which was ubiquitous several years ago) for that same music listener, they would instantly recognize it.
If you were to poll the average church-going youth group about Christian DJs or Electronica acts, you’d hear KJ-52 mentioned. If you were really lucky, lived in a major urban area, or had a youth leader who knew about the breadth of musical genres populated by Christians, the names Echoing Green, L.A. Symphony and maybe the aforementioned Andy Hunter might come up. It’s a shame really because there are quite a few talented artists out there producing entertaining & sophisticated compositions that are on par with their European counterparts.
One such artist goes by the handle Argyle St. Like many Electronica artists, Argyle St. is the nom de guerre and endeavor of a single person- Shawn Z. The creative impetus draws his song-writing and vocal influence from late 80’s/early 90s Depeche Mode, Morrissey and The Cure’s Robert Smith. His pliable delivery sways between the boundaries of breathily ethereal and clarion reedy. The lyrics of Departures range the gamut from the spiritual observations of “ABC,” the indicting social commentary of “Inadequate,” to the tongue-in-cheek, cautionary tale of “Anti-perspirant”.
Musically, Argyle St. leans toward a pretty muted palette, sampling from the style of artists like Erasure, Howard Jones and producer Joey Belville’s The Echoing Green. That’s not to say the music isn’t fully developed. On the contrary, the music of Departures ranges from the gently textured and subtly layered title track, "One" and "I Saw You First"- influenced more by the ambient and trance schools of composition; to the disc’s other tracks which are more obviously, but restrainedly, drawn from the techno and house disciplines.
“Departures“ delivers a polished and creative debut that is full of enjoyable, stylish, introspective music. If you’re always n the look out for new Electronica, head on over to Argyle St.’s website and support this talented artist.