Much of today’s 80s revivalist music filters away the period’s unfashionable bits until a distilled minimalist chic is left behind. For John Maus’ “Believer”, quite the opposite holds true. Although it begins on a sufficiently bare-bones new wave approach with that monotonously steadfast driving rhythm, everything else quickly gets piled on in dazzling proportions, including layer upon glorious layer of heavenward synths. Maus’ vocals, chilled, murky and haunted, manages to provide one crucial highlight in the midst of all this, delivering a deliciously familiar chorus recalling what we’d never admit to loving about Rick Astley. It’s a song that calls out all our pretensions; yet, because Maus never allows room for cynicism, it also offers a most heartwarming redemption for the faithful few who stayed the course. – Dan.
mp3: John Maus – Believer
We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves is out now on Ribbon Music.