Mexico City synth-rock band Rey Pila (recently signed to Julian Casablancas’ label Cult Records) debuted their new double-sided single “Alexander/Lady in Red” yesterday – and we feel like we’ve time-traveled to an ‘80s paradise. (Never thought you’d hear that era adjacent to that word, did you?) Rey Pila, originally the solo project of Diego Solorzano, has rounded out its sound by adding members Rodrigo Blanco and Andrés Velasco and relocating to NYC for the production of their forthcoming sophomore album.
And the proof is in the pudding. The A-side “Alexander” features a vintage electronic energy that would be right at home alongside old-school dance tracks by The Human League or Soft Cell. But the casually commanding, swaggering vocals (on par with The Strokes’ signature sound) elevates the song to modern-day proportions. The B-side pays homage to the Chris de Burgh classic “Lady in Red” – and while the root of the song’s melody is still there, it’s morphed into an entirely different trance-figuration of the track, with ambient synth backing the lolling, blended vocals.
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The band claims they usually “work around a certain motif of a riff or just a beat, or a synth sound and take it from there." And while separate in nature, it's clear the two tracks are linked by their underlying synthetic properties – the end result being the perfect push/pull of vintage vs. modern electronic melodics, built on a fundamental, instinctual classic-rock spirit.
If you're in NYC you can check out Rey Pila playing a few shows as part of the 33rd annual CMJ Music Marathon: at Pianos tonight for Frenchkiss Label Group’s Showcase and Santos Party House tomorrow for the Craft Services Showcase.