Local Music Reviews January 2017

Local Review: Starbass – Distant Signals

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Starbass
Distant Signals

Self-Released
Streets: 11.16
Starbass = Depeche Mode  + Tobacco + Crystal Castles

Minimalism at its finest, Starbass creates a sound that transcends the genres of goth, bass, trap electronica and ambient. Steven Comeau is already a seasoned veteran in terms of creating dance tracks in his native Canada. He continues to explore and create here in Salt Lake City. His first album under this alias is full of dark yet energetic life, giving a rise to listeners’ every sense as they journey through each and every track. Not really molded into one set genre, Distant Signals stands out with the ability to create a unique atmosphere with its use of spacey synths, hypnotic 808s and allover production.

The album starts out with “Nova.” With its slow build and hypnotic synths, it grows with a blasting bass and organic-sounding percussion and flute. Though this album is light in the overall count of lyrics, it still sends a message while creating a mental image. The album’s debut video generates a gothic and haunting tone. Vocally, tracks like “Love’s Little Curses” come across experimentally reminiscent of Tobacco, whereas tracks like “Closer” and “For You” and most other tracks have a cleaned-up Joy Division feel lyrically. Distant Signals leads with a strong 80s influence in its sound while romanticizing an otherworldly feeling through its limited imagery and lyrics. Comeau is a goth who grew up giving you a piece of himself in each track, creating music that you can really lose yourself in. Distant Signals brings a nostalgic sound of 80s new wave and goth while integrating bass and an electronic flavor to add a unique power behind it. Any fan of Joy Division, New Order, Crystal Castles, Robert Smith and earlier Grimes will fall for the music of StarBass. –Connor Brady