Without its frenzied manic side, melancholy is grossly misrepresented. Luckily, Tempe's Factories attains that balance on their moody yet delirious synthpop.
Their debut LP, Together (any under-appreciated local release from last year) moves through the somber solitude of a Ben Gibbard-like psyche with the sensibilities of Blonde Redhead and Tycho.
All three band members, couple Bryan and Audra Marscovetra (guitar and keyboards, respectively) and beat specialist Mike Duffy, trade vocal duties, further fleshing out Factories' tone.
And their live performance, complemented by colorful fluorescent lights scattered across the stage, isn't so morose that you can't dance to it. It's the nautical broadband of Interpol with enough optimism to keep you propelled.
Tracks like "Zombi" and "Story Like Yours" blend poetry with nuance, to say nothing of their wildly popular -- on KWSS, at least, which counts to us -- single "Canada," which builds architectural beats (courtesy of Duffy, who is an actual architect) into a nostalgic downward spiral.
That isn't to say this music is emo, or even all that depressing, but Factories' introspective side -- courtesy of Bryan's background as a former English student -- is definitely their biggest strength.
Yet, without that dance-y sensibility, it risks being too self-centered. Many other bands swing too far one way or another on the spectrum, and for that, and Phoenix is lucky to have Factories.
With so much precise momentum that took them through 2013 -- which, again, wasn't as talked about as much as it should have been -- here's a hat tip to Factories to making 2014 even more robust.