Steve Jones + Logan Sky Smolder With “This Intensity”

steven jones + logan sky 2023
L-R: Logan Sky + Steven Jones

We were away on a rare instance of travel these days when the neü Steven Jones + Logan Sky EP dropped on March 3rd. So we had to catch up a few days later upon returning home. “This Intensity” will presumably be from their any-day-now, still unnamed next album. It’s another of the duo’s letter perfect evocations of the classic 12″ single form, albeit in ones and zeroes from their Bandcamp store. Three mixes [radio, extended, remix] of the A-side and a pair of thematically congruent B-sides to round out the package.

steven jones + logan sky this intensity
Etrangers Musique | DL | 2023

Steven Jones + Logan Sky: This Intensity – UK – DL [2023]

  1. This Intensity (Single) 04:03
  2. This Intensity (Extended Remix) 05:28
  3. This Intensity (May Be Horizon Slow Burner) 04:03
  4. Space & Time 04:31
  5. Foolish Scenes 02:50

“This Intensity” showed the band getting back to their roots with a return to Synthpop following some stretching out of late into Art Rock territory. No guest stars to add any element x. Just two men, voice, and synths. The way we did it in 1981! Mr. Jones was riding the synth riffage with ease; expending only the energy necessary to remain aloft as a kite would as he contemplated tearing the Veil of Maya away from his eyes. Once more, he ventured into his falsetto zone for the chorus as shards of synth and beatbox from Mr. Sky shook the foundations of the song.

It was all a bit more Darkwave than their biggest Synthpop influence, Depeche Mode, but echoes of the latter’s delightful melancholy to be found on the deepcuts from “A Broken Frame” were recognizable in the mix. And the synth shrieks in the climax that simultaneously sounded like train brakes and wailing banshees were a bracing callback to the same from “Master + Servant.”

Those same shrieks opened up the old school extended mix by the band with more beatbox for an extended intro buildup. An extra serving of kick drum making it all more clubworthy. Sample below.

For the remix, May Be Horizon took the energy levels lower for their appropriately named “Slow Burner” mix. Resulting in a lovely “last call” 3 A.M. mix with subdued energy.

“Space + Time” almost played out like an instrumental maintaining the vibe of the preceding remix full of percolating, minimal synth before Mr. Jones unleashed his voice over chops to enhance the dark, abstract mood of the cut. It mutated into something more twitchy as the glitch rhythms eventually came to the foreground with their odd meter and whipcrack accents.

The concluding “Foolish Scenes” showed most of the synths back in their anvil cases as this was Logan on piano and the smoldering voice-over style of Jones only joined with his singing voice on the song’s chorus. The only synths here were the bell-like tones doubling with the piano melody to fatten the sound selectively.

Some bands approach a single to make a balanced meal of contrasting flavors and moods. Pet Shop Boys were expert at this with bangers being paired with heartbreaking ballads to hit contrasting targets. Other times, as with this single, a band can build and sustain a mood throughout all of its tracks. Like a finely considered album in miniature. “This Intensity” is out there today on Bandcamp and tomorrow it will be on streaming as well. The asking price is too small to mention, so don’t forget to top up when you buy. It’s been highly enjoyable building up a portfolio of the vibes of Jones + Sky as they have developed and spread out, with this single being something of a roots check for the duo even as they have refined and honed the mood they are delivering. Mr. DJ hit that button!

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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