Review: The Night We Ran Away – The Joyride

Who doesn’t like a bit a synth-pop?  Well nobody judging by the current playlist of our nations radio stations.  And who doesn’t like a bit of synth-pop with added guitars?  Again nobody.  Except perhaps Neil Tennant.  But he’s wrong.  Newest cab off the synth-pop rank are Merseyside based The Joyride.

The Joyride are Felix Shipton (vocals, guitar and synths) and Justin Hanna (synths and programming).  They met while studying Music Production at Edge Hill University and describe themselves, rather disarmingly, as ‘bedroom producers’.  I’d say there’s a bit more to them than that, and their latest single The Night We Ran Away is an old school electronic-pop belter.

The band cite one of their influences as The Human League.  For The Night We Ran Away I’d go a step further back down the electronic ladder.  The Human League were big devotees of Giorgio Moroder: and the sequencer and drum sounds at the start of the song immediately brought Moroder’s work to my mind.  The song has an early eighties authenticity about it. 

Once the drumbeat, guitar, and sequencer drop and the vocals kick-in we are bang up to date. Shipton’s crisp, occasionally breathy, heartfelt vocals are very 2020.  His singing style, on this evidence, is not dissimilar to that of Matty Healy from The 1975.

As the song moves forward, it expands and moves in different directions.  There’s a throbbing synth bass line that holds the song together.  It allows other synths and guitar melodies to play around and fill the spaces.  It’s hard to believe it’s just two guys making this much sound.  There is one section where the synths are acting as almost wraithlike backing vocals to Shipton’s lead. 

 The song is filled with all the right drops and lifts and you can see it being a real crowd pleaser if it makes an outing in a festival tent.  Towards the end of the song we are treated to another eighties staple, the screechy guitar solo.  It fits beautifully.  This song is a handsomely crafted piece of synth-pop.          

If you’re a fan of Pale Waves, The 1975 or APRE then The Joyride might be the next trip you want to take.  Go listen at all the usual places. 

Ian Dunphy    

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