THE BLOG
11/25/2016 07:59 pm ET Updated Nov 26, 2017

Rodney Cromwell's Uplifting Synth Pop

I was glad to receive some upbeat music in the face of the present
moment's constant, relentless stream of bad news. "Rodney Cromwell"
aka Adam Creswell created a tight group of retro synth-pop songs which
slapped a smile on my face, despite all the anxiety pressing down upon
humanity. This music feels like a necessary antidote, a placebo
perhaps, but I don't care. I'm glad to be smothered in joyful
synth-pop, and I imagine you will be too. His new lo-fi disco laments
are joyfully simple and painfully funny. 'Fax Message Breakup' EP
released last week, following up his debut 'Age of Anxiety' LP and
'Black Dog' EP.

He reveals the inspiration behind five key tracks from his output here:

Barry Was an Arms Dealer (from the album 'Age of Anxiety')

Inspired by a friend who suffered from severe paranoid delusions. His
delusions were not of 'reds under the bed' but more the sort of
far-left paranoid assertions that if you are not growing your own
organic mung beans, doing vegan yoga and supporting revolutionary
socialism from behind a keyboard then you must be some kind of
warmongering neo-liberal arms dealing CIA stooge. Although musically
this track sounds like it was made in 1982, thematically it's very
much of 2016.

Cassiopeia (The Leaf Library Mix) (from the 'Fax Message Breakup' EP)

Despite what you would think if you read the reviews of my album, I
don't sit at home listening to Haircut 100 B-sides and The Thompson
Twins. I'm a big fan of heavily reverbed indie guitar music. I love
this remix by The Leaf Library because the guitar solo reminds me of
The Clientele or Galaxie 500. Much as I love synths, I have a
secondary love of guitar pedals; whenever I want to relax, I watch J
Mascis or Billy Corgan on YouTube talking about their pedals. It's
totally therapeutic.

Fenchurch Street (from the album 'Age of Anxiety')

Despite the fact that he's a hideous Tory shit, I've always loved the
track 'Everything's Alright' from Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Jesus Christ
Superstar Soundtrack' mainly because it's in 5/4 time. In my opinion
there isn't enough synthpop in 5/4 so this was my attempt to put that
right. Despite what the lyrics say, there are only four platforms at
Fenchurch Street though, in my defense I have only been there once and
I was terrifically drunk at the time.

Black Dog (Version) (from the 'Black Dog' EP)

At the time of making the record, I was also renovating our house and
spending an unhealthy amount of time at home improvement stores and
doing DIY. Despite being someone with deeply pretentious tastes, who
has read all the major works of Dostoyevsky, seen every Truffaut movie
and listened to the entire Velvet Underground back catalogue, it was
the DIY that inspired my favorite lyric of this song: "And if a Black
and Decker drilled a hole into my head would it let this dog out?" I
suppose power corrupts, power-tools corrupt absolutely.

Fax Message Breakup (from the 'Fax Message Breakup' EP)

Another track inspired in part by a hideous Tory, this time much loved
national treasure, tax exile and easy lover, Phil Collins. Apparently
the rumored break up with his second wife by fax is an urban myth, but
still, thanks for the inspiration Phil. I can't see Rodney Cromwell
getting a support slot on the Genesis reunion tour in the near future
though.