Hailing from New York State, the avant-pop duo of Reliant Tom include composer Monte Weber and vocalist Claire Cuny. Together the duo, which was formed at a DIY event in Brooklyn, concoct a delightfully-experimental sound that pushes boundaries while retaining an ultra-cool pop-chic quality that’s like little else out there. Today we have the premiere of their video for “Happy Birthday,” an eerie and altogether disquieting song that still manages to call for repeat listens.
The refrain for “Happy Birthday” consists an energetic electronic beat that sounds like something Massive Attack would concoct with powerful-but-not-overpowering distorted guitars adding a rock vibe. Interspersed with the chorus are slower introspective verses that put Cuny’s hauntingly melodic vocals at the forefront of the song.
While a song called “Happy Birthday” tends to elicit positive feelings, this song all gloom. The lyrics of “Happy birthday / What a perfect day to waste away” are a perfect match for the visuals of the video, which include scenes of Cuny lying in bed, stripping her clothes off and pulling the covers up to her face.
The band has a new album coming out in November, and it’ll be called Bad Orange. According to the band’s bio, the album will concentrate on themes of digital communication and the various issues that arise from both their ubiquity and shortcomings. “It is very interesting to work together from our differing backgrounds,” said Cluny. “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”? It seems like it’s an oxymoron.”
Bad Orange is out on November 2, 2018 on Diversion Records. It’ll be released on CD and digitally.
1. “Bad Orange”
3. “Happy Birthday”
5. “Poor You”
9. “Someday I’ll Be King”