For the pure-of-heart music fan there is an endless, infectious and goose-bump inducing joy that accompanies the discovery of a pristine pop melody. Even better, when a brain trust of hook wranglers lasso songwriting magic and reel it within the outstretched grasp of hungry ears, it blazes through the dark and insidious cynicism of even the most hardened audophile with God-like grace no matter how staunch their position that all the best songs have already been written.
It’s in this altruistic spirit that California’s Anakin set out to record their forthcoming EP, @-1, which sees release on Summer Solstice 2018 (Thursday, June 21) via Brad Chancellor of Anakin’s Kenobi Records and made available worldwide. The EP is the first in a series of five that will be released over the next 12 months featuring one original song and a cover song representative of Anakin’s vast songwriting influences. The a-side single for @-1, “Spaced Out,” features long time Minnesota-based emissary of pop melody Justin Pierre, who some may recall from decades delivering blissed-out earworms with his quintet Motion City Soundtrack.
“Justin pledged towards our first album release, Random Accessed Memories, via Kickstarter,” Chancellor recalls. “After the album was released in 2012, Justin e-mailed me saying he wanted to help us in any way he could whether it be playing shows together or introducing us to labels and/or people he knew in the industry that could help us out. We both agreed to keep in touch.
“[During the following] years we had always been trying to make something happen together, whether it would be touring or releasing something together. At the end of 2017, I wrote ‘Spaced-Out’ and sent the demo to Justin and asked if he wanted to [collaborate].
“The song “Spaced-Out” is about my real life struggles with anxiety and finally feeling like I was taking back control of my life after official diagnosis and getting on meds to right my brain.”
Not to be overlooked, the b-side of @-1 offers the band’s inspired take on The Rentals “California,” originally penned by quirk-rock purveyor Matt Sharp.