Brooklyn-based experimental art-rock duo, Reliant Tom shares new single “11-2” from their forthcoming album ‘Play & Rewind’ out May 8th, 2020 via Diversion Records. The track follows “Nevermind the Garbage” and “The Sky is Falling” with melodic, ominous keyboards that envelope the listener in singer Claire Cuny’s haunting vocals. Reliant Tom’s signature stop-and-stutter drum beats enter as bubbling synthesizers gurgle to the surface. Cuny took inspiration from the tragic passing of her father who died suddenly on November 2, 2018, on the day of the band’s last album release no less. It’s a theme that weaves through the whole new album. Claire explains, “The song is about learning to return to a semi-normal routine by learning to manage the grief…”
Tracing their origins to a chance meeting at a DIY show in Brooklyn in 2015, the Brooklyn-based post-rock electronic band and experimental performance art Reliant Tom is centered around its core creative duo, Western Massachusetts-born, Brooklyn-based composer Monte Weber and Dallas, TX-born, Brooklyn-based choreographer and vocalist Claire Cuny. The duo’s collaboration is a seamless synthesis of their individual talents and interests – sound design, wearable technology, modern dance, and hook-driven, yet genre-defying songwriting.
“Reliant Tom gives me the outlet to explore both pulse driven works while maintaining the other musical elements which I find fascinating – timbre, aleatoric processes, and interactive technologies,” Weber explains. Adds Cuny, “Our ultimate goal with Reliant Tom is to be a multi-media performance experience that straddles the line between pop and experimental music – and philosophizing about what that even means, and is that even possible as ‘experimental pop’?”
Thematically, the duo’s two previous releases, 2016’s self-released, self-titled EP and 2018’s critically applauded, full-length debut effort Bad Orange, touch upon the pitfalls of digital communication and the generally blasé nature of modern social interaction – through the guise of avant-pop and avant-punk-influenced musical devices and arrangements featuring electric guitar, vocals, a hybrid electro-acoustic drum kit, synthesizers, and Weber’s Kontrol Instrument, which he developed while studying at the Paris-based Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music as a way to make electronic music more tactile and immersive in its performance.
Slated for a May 8th, 2020 release through Chicago-based Diversion Records, Reliant Tom’s sophomore effort Play & Rewind is a decidedly bold and self-assured step forward: Cuny’s sultry and expressive vocals while being prominently placed front and center, effortlessly glide over lush yet spacious arrangements of shimmering acoustic guitars, atmospheric electronics and twinkling keys with the material possessing a cinematic air that recalls Dummy-era Portishead, Tales of Us-era Goldfrapp, Radiohead circa OK Computer and others. And while continuing to be tech-heavy in their means of sonic production, their thematic exploration of communication and interaction in the digital age takes a back seat. This time taking a more human approach, the material may arguably be the most mature yet accessible, most emotionally honest and vulnerable of their growing catalog.