Tony Shadman

Airplane Man Heads for the "Borderline"

The synth-pop duo's new single plays with the anxieties of new relationships and uncertain labels.

New wave outfit Airplane Man has shared their latest release for an exclusive Popdust premiere: the surging electro-anthem "Borderline."

Daniel Feldman and Tim Sommers, the musician-producer-duo behind Airplane Man's synth-pop sensibility, give an 8-bit heartbeat to the notion of a relationship in flux, pulling on '80s-inflected power pop and fast-paced electronica for a sound both nostalgic and powerful.

"There's a paradise / Close enough if you just close your eyes..." opens the second verse of "Borderline," and these lines seem to be closer to wishful thinking than a sure promise. The "Borderline" the track dances on refers to the boundary between the freeing abandon of new love and the prospect of that love getting lost in crossed wires. Airplane Man maintains tight, compact control of their cerebral rock-synth blend, complete with dreamily-falsetto vocals on the chorus, to spell out the trembling anxiety that comes with a relationship's next stage. The sound and the subject pair exceptionally well for just under three minutes of rollicking and efficient pop, perfectly suited to highlighting a fear of definition in modern relationships.

It's clear Airplane Man doesn't make judgments."Borderline" seizes a moment, an emotion, and stretches it as far as it can go, letting its final notes hang no longer than they need to. It's interesting to hear a band experiment with the economy of a pop template, especially when groups like Airplane Man do it with such style.


Matthew Apadula is a writer and music critic from New York. His work has previously appeared on GIGsoup Music and in Drunk in a Midnight Choir. Find him on Twitter @imdoingmybest.

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