By Brian Stieglitz Staff Writer
With a blend of 80’s synth and alternative indie rock, the debut album of Atlas Genius, “When It Was Now,” has the potential to amaze listeners of both genres. Atlas Genius’ fame was catalyzed by their release of “Trojans” last year, which gained most of its popularity online through blogging websites. This makes sense for “Trojans”, a hip swaying, finger snapping, indie single that fits in with artists such as Imagine Dragons and Walk the Moon. While Atlas Genius cites The Beatles as their favorite and most influential band, their sound is more emulative of these modern bands. Nevertheless, the bands debut album does echo a familiar groove to their classic rock influence.
This reminiscent style of using sounds of favorite classic artists is also where their use of 80s synth comes in. The opener, “Electric,” is most representative of this. The songs intro sounds electric and begins like any beloved 80s techno-pop hit. It then transcends into the indie rock sound as the vocals come in. In most of the other songs on the album this blend is a little more inconspicuous, like the song “All These Girls,” which places both sounds on top of each other ultimately overshadowing the synth with guitar and drums.
Next to “Trojans” and “Electric” the most memorable track has to be “On a Day” as it starts out with a powerful and innovative drum intro and crashes into a fast-paced and uplifting track.
When listening to the album in general, I see myself lounging on a beach with lemonade in hand while the waves crash to the beat. The tracks are mellow enough to blend into a relaxing background, yet each brings a new aspect to the table.
Each song on the album centers on a different topic with interesting metaphors and messages. While some seem mundane, the band puts them out in a laid-back but empowering light. For instance “Through the Glass” is about when the band started performing in a building with clear windows. As people came in they were not watching the band, but instead staring at their own reflections. This motif delves into the message of superficiality and sorting out one’s priorities.
All in all, the band brings out a promising debut album that blends two distinct genres together in a sound that is interesting and entertaining to listen to.