Irish act, The Art Crimes Band, have just released their latest single, Neon Skyline, and we’ve been taking several thoroughly enjoyable listens here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today.
Inspired by the novel “Bright Lights, Big City” by American author Jay McInerney, Neon Skyline tells a tale about time spent caught up in and escaping from, the mid-1980s New York City fast lane.
From the moment Neon Skyline starts, you know you’re in for an exhilarating 80s ride. With some spacey and dreamy use of wah and an intro/drum beat similar to Take On Me by A-Ha, the track feels authentic immediately. Other times, we were reminded of Chris Rea’s “Driving Home For Christmas”.
When the female vocals come in, they’re vulnerable and fragile and seem virtually unaffected. They reminded us just a touch of Leslie Feist.
There’s some really subtle acoustic guitar that is barely there, but helps to fill the sound. Lots of great use of synths and extra instrumentation make this a very full sound. This is a quality master, as you would expect of an Abbey Road production.
A great use of alto sax between the first and second verse helps differentiate the sections and that all important second verse has a great staccato guitar added in. The major 7 chords help add to a dreamy sound that makes this a definite candidate for being described as Yacht Rock.
There’s a great break down around 2 minutes in, with an exciting rise on the drums into another great alto sax moment. It is, to us, the final sax solo that really lifts the song and gives it a perfect mid 80s authenticity.
We absolutely love the production on this track. Each instrument has its space and development throughout. To our ears, a boost around 60Hz would bring out the thump of the kick drum a little more. The snare could use a slight surgical cut at 140Hz to reduce a bit of thump and make it clearer in our opinion. A small but wide boost centred around 7kHz with maybe even an additional high shelf boost in the top octave for extra brightness.
An expertly crafted and truly authentic 80s feeling track. Neon Skyline is a track to put on in the car when you’re driving across the country. For fans of 80s and Yacht Rock, this track is an absolute must.