Imagine being a musician who gets to collaborate with an artist who inspired you. That’s just the case with Seattle-based ELYXR. His 1980s synth-pop and freestyle-infused “Strange Stubborn Proud” features Kurt Harland Larson of Information Society, who helped shepherd this sound to the masses in that inspirational decade with cuts like “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy).”
Today, Vehlinggo premieres the video for “Strange Stubborn Proud,” which is graced with a video that, like the song, is energetic and hits a killer blend of the nostalgic and the contemporary. Are you ready to get lost in this beautiful bliss of kinesis?
Kasson Crooker, the man behind ELYXR, had this to say about his collaboration with Larson:
“One of my favorite aspects of working with Kurt on ‘Strange Stubborn Proud’ was taking all of classic ’80s synth-pop knowledge we both have and creating something fresh and innovative — although in the ’80s Kurt was a pop star on MTV and I was losing at my high school battle of the bands!”
Crooker and Larson met years ago, when the latter heard the former’s electro-pop band, Freezepop. I’ll let Larson — who formed Information Society in 1982 in my and Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis — tell the story.
“I first heard Freezepop in the early ‘00s, and immediately told my wife, who worked at a record store, about them,” Larson said in a press release. “Shortly thereafter, she got them to come out to San Francisco for an in-store appearance, which was, I think, their first San Francisco trip. I loved Kasson’s work with Freezepop over those years, and when he started ELYXR, I jumped at the chance to make music together for the first time.”
The lyrics Larson wrote for SSP were inspired by the words of a friend, he said in the release.
“I read what she wrote and spun them up into lyrics,” he said. “I hope that anyone who hears the song can hear the duality in the lyrics: While clearly striking a proud and defiant tone, there is also a note of tragedy in the voice. Anyone who must walk this sort of path must endure rather a lot of social suffering.”
You can find “Strange Stubborn Proud” and other ELYXR songs on Bandcamp.
(Feature Photo: Crooker and Larson.)