Photo by Jen Rosenstein
Since forming in 2006, Portland synthpop duo Mackintosh Braun has built up an impressive resume. Together, Ian Mackintosh and Ben Braun have two albums under their belts — 2007’s The Sound and 2010’s Where We Are — a contract with Universal affiliate Chop Shop Records, and countless coveted TV spots on programs like Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl, and Chuck. Even so, the two never stop pushing themselves, open to change as well as the unknown. That’s the case on the band’s forthcoming LP, Arcadia, which finds Mackintosh and Braun experimenting with new ways of writing and recording and, for the first time, enlisting the help of an outside producer.
While the first two records featured both musicians collaborating in the same room together, Arcadia saw them working apart. The distance ended up playing in their favor. “We gave ourselves a little bit of room, some time and space to come up with ideas and parts on our own,” Braun explains in a press release. “Then we’d come back to each other and say. ‘What do you think of this?’ and riff off of one another.” Lars Stalfors (The Mars Volta, Cold War Kids) produced the album, and proved to be someone who “really understood where we were trying to take the record.”
Today, we get a look at the two-piece’s final product via “Through the Noise”, Arcadia’s penultimate track and a deliciously groovy slice of ’80s-inspired synthpop. If you like Twin Shadow’s slick hip-shakers and MGMT’s billowing synths, then this cut’s about to be your favorite jam of the week. At least, that’s how Mackintosh Braun hopes you will receive it.
“‘Through the Noise’ is definitely one of our favorite songs on the new record,” the duo tells Consequence of Sound. “It has that nice pocket groove we often go after for a mid-tempo track like this. It was actually the last song we wrote before wrapping up to go work with Lars Stalfors in California. After we sent him the demo, he was stoked and I think it really helped cement our collaboration. Sometimes we prefer to let a song speak to the listener and let them draw their own meaning from it, this is one of those special songs to us.”
Arcadia hits shelves on June 16th through Chop Shop. Find the tracklist below.
01. The City Below
02. Never Give In
03. In Reverse
04. Into Nothing
06. Another Place
07. Falling In
09. Holding Pattern
10. Through The Noise
11. We Ran Faster Then