Los Angeles is home to a slew of contemporary new wave bands that I recently blogged about such as Ultraviolet and A Kiss Could Be Deadly. Cute Phase is another L.A. band that is inspired by the great alt-pop sounds of the early '80s and brings their own unique perspective to the re-emerging genre.
Cute Phase are songwriter and guitarist Adam Unknown, keyboardist Leyla Saberi, bassist Bryce Martin and drummer Keith Crutchfield who was recently added to the band. Cute Phase is the brainchild of Unknown who recruited Saberi to his music project in 2003 after the two met at Club Synthetic, a weekly electroclash party in Hollywood. The two later hooked up with bassist Martin to further craft their sound.
Unknown had a clear musical vision when he started Cute Phase. Inspired by '80s new wave and Brit Pop, he wanted to create a sound that matches the vibe of old bands like Tubeway Army, Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode, but incorporates the raw energy of current electro acts like Fischerspooner and The Faint.
"Our music is for those who understand what its like to feel rejection, abandonment or disconnected from society," Cute Phase writes on their web site. "The ignored, unpopular and outcast by their peers. The modest, shy and soft-spoken who would feel alone in a crowded room."
The track "Victim Loved Silence" is excellent representation of their work. It combines a simple dance beat, a catchy synth riff and a ferocious bassline. Their emo-laden sound is the perfect wrapping for Unknown's haunting storytelling.
The song's lyrics read like a Bret Easton Ellis novel. Unknown sings, "It was just a dance, a simple dance where people dressed up like they mean it. Stellar girls in neon lights all made up just like angels. Party boys doing crystal white all made up just like devils." The song not only reflects the sonic power of the '80s but also captures the era's angsty zeitgeist. Good stuff. (Thanks to Cute Phase for allowing me to share this track. You can purchase their music here.)
Download Cute Phase "Victim Loved Silence" [MP3]