With haunting, emotional lyrics that defy any preconceived limits on the chiptune genre, ‘Diamonds & Glass’ by The Fluorescent is a powerful amalgamation of chip, pop, punk, and electronica that is certain to inspire legions of chip musicians for years to come.
‘Diamonds & Glass’ uses high-power electronic melodies and passionate vocals to deliver a catchy, earworm-laden experience with both artists taking turns in the driver’s seat as lead vocalist, which fosters an intriguing and unique emotional range throughout the tracks on ‘Diamonds & Glass’.
The Fluorescent, Matt and Carolyn, hailing from Kansas, KS, is an indie (and married) pop-rock duo whose musical style blends an “Angels and Airwaves“-esque pop-punk sound with authentic high-tempo 8-bit melodies which produces an enticing mixture of authentic rawness that chiptune music is not normally known for. Sure, chiptune sounds can be harsh or frantic, but The Fluorescent evades the chiptune trap of boring, repeated loops through faithful adherence to their devil-may-care punk-mentality; breaking up melodies and shifting gears on a whim to suit their musical desires as opposed to being slaves to their chip loops.
There is a curious ferocity nestled within the simplicity of the way The Fluorescent constructs their music: two artists, a keytar, a Game Boy, and a digital guitar (look up “Casio DG-20 digital guitar”, it’s really cool) were all that was needed to concoct “Making Waves” in a California hotel room during November of 2013. You can enjoy a peek into their creative spark in the video below:
Now that you’re hooked, take a quick listen to the ‘Diamonds & Glass’ version of “Making Waves” to hear the final result from the initial hotel version to final release:
There are two “no vox” tracks on ‘Diamonds & Glass’ for those looking for instruments-only music:
The high-energy album kick-off ‘Dinosaurs’…
…and the rousing-yet-light-hearted ‘It’s Bright In Here’.
Though both are polished, memorable listens, with the caliber of songwriting and vocal ability between both members of The Fluorescent, it’s easy to leave them hoping for lyrical versions of each to be released in the future.
The Fluorescent walks a tightrope between methodical chiptune composition and a pop/punk presentation that parlays a certain improvisational quality that breathes new life into chiptune music at large. Too often with electronic music, lyrics are tacked-on afterthoughts, but where many have failed, The Fluorescent not only bring two diverging directions with Matt’s punk sensibilities and Carolyn’s soft pop vocals, but both galvanized voices compliment each other with a perplexing harmony, excelling in surprising tandem. The resulting synergy between both members of The Fluorescent is honest, refreshing, and impressive.
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