‘Running’ is the latest offering from Dublin synth pop four piece Vann Music. A four track EP, it sees the band aim big and for the most part succeed in doing so.
Proceedings open with Boy; the lead single off the EP it’s easy to see why it was chosen. It’s hard to find fault with this exquisitely arranged number with Aaron Smyth’s very Bono-esque vocals sitting nicely on top of some sleek-synths and rhythmic bass-drum. More mature than anything we’ve heard previously from the band, its slow and brooding delivery brings to mind the dreamy electro-pop of the Pet Shop Boys. Not a surprise given production is handled by Stephen Hague, a long term collaborator of the synth pop legends.
Less impressive is Repeat, on which the band tries their hand at funk with unsuccessful results. If Bruno Mars’ brand of funk is uptown then this is most definitely downtown. Jesus Babe gets things back on track. Very similar to Boy, it falls somewhere in between the electro-pop and light-rock and despite not being quite on a par with the opener, it’s still a decent effort.
Closing out the EP, One Chance sees the band go into overdrive mode. Challenging Coldplay at their most overblown this is widescreen, skyscraper big. The purists out there will probably scoff at its sheer bombast but it’s hard not to enjoy its audacity. A song that was made to sound-track a sporting montage.
An ambitious, effort ‘Running’ should push Vann Music to the next level in their career. As stated its unlikely to appeal to the purists out there but its commercial appeal should guarantee it an audience. It launches in the Button Factory on the 7th March. If you’re a fan of synth-pop it’s a gig that’s definitely worth checking out.