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Posted Oct 12th, 2012 (12:30 pm) by John Schoonover
Bogan Via- Wait Up

Our Rating

8/10
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Tempe, AZ synthpop duo Bogan Via know how hype works. Output has to be constant, unavoidable, and, most importantly, consistent. Bogan Via, also known as Arizona State students Bret Bender and Madeleine Miller, check all three of those boxes.

Off the back of their January 2012 EP Copy and Paste and its well-liked single “Kanye,” Bogan Via have signed with Common Wall Media, and will be releasing another EP, Wait Up, on October 29th. To tide us over until then, they’ve just dropped “TES,” an exciting look at things to come.

Bogan Via started as a dorm-room project, and it really showed on Copy and Paste. The production was minimal, the songs were immediate, and it showed great potential. They already had a grasp on what they wanted to do, but let’s face it, it’s hard to reach the apex of one’s sound three months after forming. “TES,” on the other hand, benefits greatly from a summer’s worth of tinkering. It’s perhaps even simpler than anything off the last EP, with a simple melody recurring on either xylophone or synthesizer, set against an even simpler vocal line, all over a bouncing down-tempo (synth-)bass line.

There’s really not a lot going on here, and it absolutely works. The subtle changes happening throughout the song are incredibly tasteful, as if each little element is given space to expand and make its mark on the song. Miller’s powerful vocal performance is a highlight, as is the way her vocals are isolated when the backing instrumental is minimal, versus the harmonies she either sings with herself or with Bender as the song builds. The atmosphere is uneasy, communicated mainly through melody and the way the beat really pounds at times, and though there’s a fair bit of reverb to be had, it never dominates anything, which gets brownie points by itself.

At its heart, “TES” really just works. It’s catchy without being annoyingly so, its almost-four minutes have been shorn of any fat, and again, every sound just belongs there. Keep it coming, guys.

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