Moody synthpop project DRMCRSHR continues collaboration series with new single featuring Kodos.
Sweet dreams are made to be broken, or at least they are in DRMCRSHR‘s realm of haunted synthpop creations. The project’s short but growing output on major streaming services presents a bit of a pessimistic slant on crisp electronic dance music. Full-fledged songs featuring a rotating cast of guest vocalists kick shallow, escapist lyricism to the curb, favoring moody reflections and uneasy emotions. Whether or not DRMCRSHR’s repertoire will cheer up in the future remains to be heard, but either way, one can expect that the project will continue to clear the high bar for pop music production it has already set.
Presumably a clever (and callous) twist on the dreamcatcher, DRMCRSHR (pronounced “dream crusher”) seems to be a 2020 quarantine pet project given 2021 legs by its smilingly enigmatic helmsman, Derek Moore. As a sought-after bassist in Oklahoma indie rock circles, he carries a resume of past projects that is no stranger to dark irony. Electronic music, however, is a new turn for Moore, and though its structure is informed by pop/rock music, it’s something else entirely.
“TTYT”, the second official single from DRMCRSHR, features new-wave emo project Kodos, and it releases everywhere tomorrow. However, in this Make Oklahoma Weirder exclusive premiere, you can hear it right now at the player below.
Drum machine beats, slippery modulated chimes, and atmospheric pad synths are coated in smoky reverb, setting the tone for Kodos’ crestfallen vocals. Those who tuned in to Kodos’ full-length debut last year will recognize familiar sounds in “TTYT”, namely the graveled spoken muttering and the autotuned vocal detours that helped make the Kodos LP such an anomaly in alternative rock.
What DRMCRSHR brings to the table, though, is a striking aura of glistening darkness. Furthermore, Kodos’ vocals are re-sampled into musical accents and stings that compound the track’s already tense echo chamber of anguish. The sense of spiraling melancholy is only saved by the handrailing that is DRMCRSHR’s unwavering beat work.
“TTYT” follows a single called “Admit It”, which collaborated with weirdo psych-rockers Special Thumbs. That track was a more traditional verse/chorus song that expressed its gloom through energetic confrontation, which is not a thematic stretch for Special Thumbs. DRMCRSHR has proven with back-to-back releases that it’s a project that collaborates in a way that truly melds its artistic voices, creating music that is at home in the catalogs of its features while adhering to DRMCRSHR’s throughline of shadowy synth rhythms.
aka Jarvix, the Chief Executive Weirdo of Make Oklahoma Weirder. His out-of-the-box music coverage has been published by the Oklahoma Gazette, KOSU, and The Oklahoman among others. He also makes DIY music as a solo multi-instrumentalist live looper in his spare time.