Reliant Tom released their new track, “11-2” which has a seductive and fluid sound that pulls you in straight from the start. The vocals by singer Claire Cuny have a distinctly, purposeful and unique sound that encapsulates a modern-day Mazzy Star. Cuny took inspiration from the tragic passing of her father who died suddenly on November 2, 2018, the same day as the band’s last album release, no less. The band’s new album, Play & Rewind, will be released on May 8 via Diversion Records.
The band recently released the track, “The Sky Is Falling” as well as “Never Mind The Garbage” at the end of March. Brooklyn-based, experimental art-rock duo, Reliant Tom’s origins date back to 2015 at a chance meeting at a DIY show in Brooklyn. According to a statement, 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.
Weber shares in a statement, “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.” Cuny adds, “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 self-titled EP and 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.
In a press release, the new album, Play & Rewind is described as 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.