Where the debut album ‘Age of Anxiety’ by Rodney Cromwell (real name Adam Cresswell) drew on personal demons, on this new EP, social and political tribulations in the UK inspired these wry songs of woe. ‘Comrades’ is a robotic turbocharged rebel song for the twitter generation. ‘Barbed Wire’ is a song from across the barricades of the supermarket checkout. ‘Technocrats’ is a song for our illusory robot masters. ‘Dreamland’ is a breakup song for someone who just wants to go back to bed and pretend none of this ever happened. Sonically, this music sits between Kraftwerk, Pye Corner Audio and the Best of Divine.
Rodney Cromwell’s evocative synthpop looks to the proto-electronica of the 70’s and 80’s to construct a twisted soundtrack for the post-truth world. The instrumentation of the new EP has been kept intentionally minimal with its drum sounds taken entirely from a vintage Boss DR-55 drum machine and with a self-imposed limit on the amount of hissy analogue gear used in its making. Melody and dark humour combine with simple motorik rhythms, soaring bass lines and the bleeps of retro synths, all within a lo-fi pop aesthetic.
Cromwell’s sound has been compared to the analogue electronica of Kraftwerk, Section 25 and the ‘retro futurists’ of Ghostbox Records. His miserablism and dark humour has been compared to that of The Cure and John Grant.
Rodney Cromwell’s debut album and subsequent EPs found crossover appeal, gaining Cromwell coverage from the likes of NME, Electronic Sound Mag, Huffington Post and Steve Lamacq and Gideon Coe on BBC 6 Music and on Spain’s national RNE3. At the end of 2015, Rodney Cromwell featured in 25 ‘Best of’ lists and was named ‘Most Promising New Act’ by The Electricity Club. ‘Barry Was an Arms Dealer’ featured in the 2015 Official Festive 50
The video for ‘Comrades’ was produced by Dariy Karyakin, who has produced for David Lynch pet fave Nocturne Blue, has been praised by 6-time Emmy Winner Dutch Rall, and has earned various awards and honours. The sleeve artwork is by Latvian photographer Jelena Osmolovska, whose distinctive gritty post-Soviet fantasy aesthetic compliments the sound of this record.