Friday I'm In Love

A sound-collision of the ’8os, Cygnets write songs where the sun don’t shine.

Friday, April 29, 9 p.m.
Pawnshop (10551 Whyte Ave.)
Tickets: $5 at the door

Cygnets play the kind of music that makes drinking a little too much, getting a little messy and letting your lipstick smear just a touch over the edge of your lip seem like a good idea. Our bleakness, our bad ideas, our mistakes are, somehow, that much more cool and bordering on beautiful when the soundtrack is danceable.

“Where’s she going (with this)?” asks Logan Turner, clearly worried with the direction my question is headed. “Are you going to blame us for teen suicides? Cause we’ve stated publicly before that we’re sorry.”

 Sitting across from me at a table at Remedy Café, semi-uncomfortably sandwiched between his bandmates Dan Snow and Chris Bruce, Turner immediately cracks a joke when I mention the darker undertones of the band’s indie-tinged synth-pop. Take a line like ‘I love you because you’re fucked like me,’ off “Fucked Like Us,” and you’ve got a song that romanticizes despair.

“I’ve been writing songs for more than a decade and it was only recently I realized that writing songs about the uncomfortable parts of yourself are what makes songs actually exciting for both the listener and the performer,” Turner says, getting more serious, “rather than just singing about some romantic bullshit thing that never happened.”

“We have songs like that too,” adds Bruce, who provides the Cygnets with their grimier guitar tones.

“One of the best drives of music is to take negative things and purge those emotions and try and create something, not necessarily positive but something cathartic about or redemptive about this negativity,” says Snow, who handles the keys. “A good, dancey, and catchy pop song is a lot more interesting if it’s about somebody ... I don’t know, hating themselves rather than just, ‘Man, it’s a beautiful day and the sun is shining! It’s Friday.’”

Add synthesizers to despair and the new wave tag appears, and it’s a classification the band is pretty comfortable with. “We’d rather be that ’80s band than who?’” says Bruce.

But as Snow points out, while they do appreciate bands like The Smiths, Joy Division, and Depeche Mode, they didn’t set out to sound like them. “I play synthesizers and I’m really into those electronic sounds,” he explains. “Chrislikes big, voluminous, reverb-y guitars. Logan’s always doing his Morrissey while he Ian Curtis dances, so it just kind of happened.

“All three of those things seemed to collide in the ’80s,” adds Turner. “It was not intentional at all.”

What is intentional is how they’ve chosen to distribute their frenetic songs of sorrow. Taking the pirating middleman out of the equation, you can download the whole Cygnets discography off their website for free (or buy it, if you feel so inclined). Call it embracing the future of the music business or simply being more pragmatic about the present reality, but at this moment in their careers, Cygnets are more focused on sharing their music, than recouping the costs of making it.

“We are doing this because we want to make music, whether or not we’re successful financially doesn’t reallychange the fact that we want to be musicians,” says Snow. “So I don’t really think it makes sense to be like ‘here’s a door price to hear what we’re doing.’” They’re hopeful that, once you’re hooked, you’ll help fund future projects, like the as yet untitled album number two, for which they are currently scraping together donations on the project funding website 

I suggest making a donation, so once they make their next collection of darkly-catchy synth-pop, you can feel good about feeling bad.


All Content Copyright © SEE Magazine 2008 About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Contest Disclaimer