Time to breakout the hair spray, shoulder pads, big frame glasses, and you favorite pair of faded blue jeans because on the night of April 26 at the Woodward Theater a show based exclusively off of 80’s inspired synth music is taking place in the form of Synthcinnati.
Opening up the show is the band FLOCKS. Formed right here in Cincinnati in 2018 the band consists of Tom Buckley (drums/samples), Josh Jessen (synths/keyboard), and Stephen Patota (bass/guitar). Driven by the fasiciation of human interpretation of electronic music, the band creates experimental music with inspiration from the sounds of jazz, electronic, and hip-hop to create a sound that is truly their own. Shortly after the bands inception they released their debut self-titled album, which for such a young album has already gained lots of attention in the music scene. Since releasing their album they have recorded and toured with artists like Hi-Tek, Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, members of the band Why?, and Deerhoof.
Their sound is somewhat hard to define. With so many different styles of music one song is not like the other. You might hear a song that has a heavy hip-hop and electronic element to it and will feel like something you can really bobb your head to. Then the very next song you hear will have a cool lounge jazz sound to it and make you more feel like relaxing and sipping on a glass of expensive bourbon rather than bobbing your head. In many ways their sound has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde element to it in that their songs from track to track are usually completely different from the one you previously herd. That’s the beauty of experimental music, you never know what is going to come out of it, FLOCKS is one of those bands you won’t want to miss when they take the stage.
Taking the stage after FLOCKS is the band Summer School. Formed in Cleveland, Summer School is a one piece band that is young but definitely up and coming. Currently the band has on EP and a bunch of singles with no full-length album out yet, but with new singles being released by the band recently something is definitely in the works. The band's sound is a brash and unapologetic throwback to the synth based pop music of the 80’s. Their sound is reminiscent of bands like Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, Phil Collins, and The Cars. It’s the kind of synthy, popy, sunkissed, kind of sound that was very common in the 80’s that will get you dancing. It may even make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time to the 80’s, and suddenly feel the need to get a perm or dress like Don Johnson in Miami Vice, maybe without the Ferrari.
After you’ve danced you’re 80’s heart away to Summer School, Bliss Nova will take the stage. Formed in Toledo, Ohio in 2015 the band consists of brothers Daniel and Joel Trzcinski. That same year the band released their debut EP titled Do You Feel and since then had gained almost instant success and recognition as a band. In 2015 the music blog The Alternative named their debut EP as one of the best of that year and praised them as one of the top promising acts in the Midwest music scene. They have also had big synth acts like Brothertiger remix their songs. Sticking to their dreamy, chill-wave brand of synth-pop, in 2017 the band would release their second EP titled Light & Shadow as well as a two song EP later that year titled Say it / Now that showcases a darker side of synth-pop.
Bliss Nova’s sound is one that is both familiar and different at the same time. There sound is a synth-pop sound, but one with a more psychedelic side to it. Their sound is comparable to bands like Washed Out, Toro Y Moi, and Neon Indian but if those bands had a little more of a pop influence. It is a sound that is trippy, but instead of just making you want to zone out and stare at the ceiling all night, it will actually make you want to get up off your couch and dance. Teledo.com described their sound perfectly back in 2015 after the release of their first album as a “lush and cathartic tapestry of ethereal electronic soundscapes set against an explosive and booming rhythm of live drums and vocals” and I couldn't agree more.
Headlining the show is the band Moonbeau. Formed by The Yugos own Christian Gough (guitar/vocals), Claire Muenchen (synth/vocals), and Alex Murphy-White (drums), ever since they bursted on the Cincinnati music scene back in 2016 they have had tons of success as a band. Since their inception they have played with bands such as COIN, In The Valley Below, Cindy Wilson, and Com Truise. In 2018 they also played at the Bunbury Music Festival, as well as performed live on local media outlets like WCPO. To add to that, their song “Are We In Love Yet?” was featured on MTV’s show Catfish. Currently the band has one full-length, self-titled album out but with all the success this truly unique band has been having there’s is bound to be more material in the works.
Just like Summer School, Moonbeau’s sound is one that puts you in the back in the time-machine to the 80’s. It’s upbeat, positive, and oh so synthy. There sound is synth pop with a more new wave feel drawing inspiration from 80’s new wave bands like A Flock Of Seagulls, and New Order. Their shows match their upbeat positive vibe. You can expect to see both Christian and Claire interacting with the crowd while they perform, as well as having great stage presence as Christian constantly moves and dances while performing to really command your attention as well as energize the crowd. Moonbeau is definitely one of the best acts Cincinnati has to offer and a great band to close out a night of synth based music.
Synthcinnati is a event you surely do not want to miss. If you are a fan of synth music, like to dance, or both this event is one that will make your weekend a little more special. And while you are there be sure to stop by the Inhailer table while you are dancing your heart away. We promise we won’t judge your hair sprayed 80s hair cut so long as your don’t judge our perm.
When: April 26, 2019
Where: The Woodward Theater
How Much?: $10 ADV