Musical shape-shifters Joywave have lent their considerable remix talent to Admirers new single “Spirit Lamp.” Their epic, experimental-pop take on “Spirit Lamp” provides an otherworldly vibe, and a fascinating companion to the first single from Admirers’ debut LP Involuntary Memory, available July 23 via Ardent Music/Redeye Distribution.
While the influences that helped shape Admirers’ debut LP Involuntary Memory can be felt from the opening pulse of album starter “Return,” (Nile Rodgers, Roxy Music, Italo Disco) the record subverts the traditional notion of “synth pop” at every turn. Veering seamlessly from the Nile Rodgers inspired funk of “Return,” to the synth-laden dreamscapes of M83, Admirers’ mastermind Mikey James shares the same sandbox with these diverse artists, but creates his own reality on every track. The secret may lie in the album’s title: Involuntary Memory is the culmination of the cinematic, literary, and musical influences flowing through James. A lifelong, pop culture junkie, James toured the world during his time in early aughts indie darlings Longwave, before founding his own projects, most notably Mikey Jukebox. While Admirers’ upbeat, dance aesthetic may be a departure from James’ previous output, it’s a reflection of all that has come before, and where the future lies. “I listen to everything really,” explains James. “And they all shape me. From Pete Seeger and Al Jolson to World Music to Autechre to Beatles and Stones to Stone Roses & Smiths.”
Produced, recorded, and mixed by James with help from legendary producer/engineer John Hampton (White Stripes, Raconteurs, Gin Blossoms) at the historic Memphis-based Ardent Studios, Involuntary Memory is a tribute to the slew of production techniques James gleaned from records all over the musical map. There are shades of glam, disco, Britpop, ’80s R&B, EDM, post-punk and lo-fi indie rock. Technical mastery aside, the through-line remains James’ whip-smart, pop songwriting chops and a quirky, ethereal romanticism that feels suited to a nighttime driving montage, or a dimly-lit, smoky after-hours club.
Involuntary Memory is available July 23 via Ardent Music/Redeye Distribution.