Once Around Saturn, given name Dan Kelso is a new artist out of Sydney, Australia. A solo artist who creates emotive, shoegaze-style electronica counts A-Ha, The Thompson Twins and Savior Adore. His new EP, These Promises, just released on June 29 and all four tracks are definitely in the style of 80s and 90s electronic new wave. More than fully retro 80s style, however, Kelso’s composition is in the vein of shoegaze dream pop a’la Washed Out or M83. The lead single, “Fortress of Love” featuring Amanda Easton definitely has the dreamy, indie pop feel of these artists with Once Around Saturn’s own unique take on it.
“Fortress of Love” opens with a rolling, melodic synth which carries the whole song and is definitely along the lines of modern dream pop, as is the beat. It still would not, however, be out of line to be seen as 80s retro. It’s the production style that makes it modern. The addition of a number of spacey, 80s-style samples and flourishes as well as Amanda Easton’s vocals are the elements of the track which really take it to the more new wave/80s synth pop side of the spectrum. Easton’s vocals are clear and lilting and will possibly make listeners think they are listening to Sheena Easton instead.
“Fortress of Love” and indeed all of the These Promises EP have many fun, synthy elements which will make them appear to any generation, so long as they like dreamy, poppy electronica. These Promises is available now on Once Over Saturn’s Bandcamp page.