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Goth and synth-pop weren’t always so different as they might seem these days. Both genres started out in the early 1980s as fairly glum offshoots of English post-punk but eventually progressed into their own more cartoonish personas – Goth became the musical equivalent of Tim Burton movies, all cinematic darkness angd black nail polish and teenage girls pining for Edward Cullen, while synth-pop became the soundtrack for day-futurism and shiny happy mall culture. But in the beginning, there was not a world of difference between The Cure and OMD.
Brooklyn’s Selebrities are making a good effort at reuniting the genres. On “Can’t Make Up My Mind,” they mix Dare-era The Human League synth-pop with a Joy Division/Cure-style guitar hook, all topped off with Maria Usbeck’s Siouxsie-lite vocals. The result is a fairly delightful track that has just enough of a dark edge to it to keep it from being cloying. While Selebrities dress the song up in goth surfaces and atmosphere, at heart “Can’t Make Up My Mind” is pure new wave pop, with more in common with Erasure and Freezepop than the Banshees or Danielle Dax.
On their Facebook page, Selebrities describe their sound as “voguish summertime goth,” and that’s a pretty accurate description of “Can’t Make Up My Mind.” It’s the sound of goth that gets out of the basement once in a while and goes out and plays with its musical siblings. It’s as if Anthony Michael Hall’s bullying character from Edward Scissorhands remembered that he was being played by Farmer Ted from Sixteen Candles and decided to lighten up a bit.
Click here to listen to Delusions on Spotify.