Life for Sean Drinkwater is more than being a fourth of acclaimed Synthpop outfit Freezepop. Part of his extensive career includes the formation of the Archenemy Record Company, commercial compositions, and several side projects such as Karacter. Today, we focus on one of Drinkwater’s secondary groups, Lifestyle. Aside from having a kick-ass name, their new album Regretro offers an exploration of often-avoided topics such as addiction and the underlying meaning of nostalgia, the feeling of not only looking into the past but also regretting past mistakes. The thematic depth of the record is cleverly contrasted by Drinkwater’s exciting production, overlapping careless joy with a deep sense of melancholy buried underneath.
There is a strong 80s vibe emanating from Regretro, brought about by the masterful synthesizer work that often elevates the tracks to a whole new dimension. The dance-oriented synth stabs and guitar arrangements of ‘Grey Ice‘ fit perfectly as an early Depeche Mode track. The nostalgia and killer hook of ‘Glass‘ showcase the depth Drinkwater brings to the table in terms of both sound and theme. The upbeat, catchy beats of ‘Hauntedhaus‘ and ‘Disguise‘ could fill their fair share of dancefloors, makes you wonder how Drinkwater would fare an all-out electronic producer. ‘Human Error‘ combines many of the elements seen on the record to great effect, creating an accessible, yet complex gem.
Regretro is a remarkable achievement of synthpop ear candy that will most likely go under the radar. Luckily, you won’t have to miss out on these magnificent 13 tracks. They will transport you, make you dance, even cry, then toss you out on the walkway. A memorable, emotional ride made possible by one of the best talents in the Boston scene.
Favorite tracks: Human Error, Glass, Hauntedhaus, Disguise, Grey Ice.
1. Human Error 04:28
2. Glass 03:36
3. The Church of the Pretty Lasers 03:40
4. Grey Ice 04:23
5. Hauntedhaus 04:31
6. Disguise 04:08
7. Foreversong 04:24
8. Cyclone 04:16
9. Come Back 03:32
10. Force of Nature 03:44
11. Reveal 04:03
12. Pleasure 04:09
13. It All Starts Again 03:53
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Check out Lifestye’s strong collecion on Bandcamp