New Mystics have released a follow-up to their debut single and it takes their sound to soaring highs. "Modern" is the second single to come from the new band from Josh Onstott, of Other Lives. His description of the project on the band's Facebook page reads, "I've made a lot a music in my life, I've created and toured with some of the greatest bands in the world... But I'm losing my fucking mind and I want to live another life." The multi-instrumentalist has definitely poured energy into the new moniker.
The new single, "Modern," showcases a starkly different sound from New Mystics' earlier release, "Sparrows." "Modern" goes all out on the grand, triumphant sound of large-room acoustics and airy vocals. On listening the first time, I was instantly taken back to Temper Trap's epic anthem, "Trembling Hands." The vocals on "Modern," the opening bass drum and thumping piano, create a surprisingly large space.
The rhythm is driving and the echoing cymbals clash with the fuzzy guitar. "I wanna be an artist someday / I've got a lot to prove," he sings in the first verse. The song's orchestration has hints of Temples and Tame Impala but forges on without them to its climactic chorus.
"Sparrows," the debut single by New Mystics
On "Sparrows," the band held back to write a beautiful folk ballad. If the first song introduces a fallen character, whose chorus is, "What a lovely day to say goodbye," then "Modern" is simultaneously his I-want song and his climactic, apocalyptic monologue. "The modern age is over for the boys / The modern age is over for the girls," sings the epic declaration in the chorus.
And if the song wasn't big enough already, the band's preview video dives head-first into the societal turmoil of the past few weeks (or months, or years, depending on your level of pessimism at this point).
A girl burns a Trump doll in a preview posted to Facebook
The band posted the video to their Facebook page with the caption, "Hey Donald J. Trump the youth of our nation has been watching... #trumpwelldone." Unsurprisingly, it received some hilariously paranoid comments, with people claiming to have called Child Protective Services, deciding that the band had joined ISIS, and calling the band "Satan in our midst." One man countered, "I quite liked the film."
The song, though, is grand enough to support such a provoking video. Anyone can sell their music with a click-bait video. But the scale of the sound and lyrics of "Modern" make it deserving of a certain power and the band has made a clear decision on how to use it.