PREMIERE: New Synth-Pop Duo You Drive Features MAVS, Jasmin Kaset

What if I told you there’s a new Makeup and Vanity Set-involved project that you’re going to be hearing about for years to come? Well, there is. Today, I’m premiering “New,” the first single from You Drive, a duo composed of Makeup and Vanity Set on instruments and his sometimes-collaborator Jasmin Kaset on vocals and words. (You’re also getting a rare glimpse of MAVS sans mask, if you check out these promo photos.)

The result of this pairing of synth composer MAVS (aka Matthew Pusti) and singer-songwriter Kaset is a beautiful and compelling blend of each artist’s relative zones of genius — the former’s darkly gorgeous, danceable, and cinematic compositions and Kaset’s nuanced narratives and emotive vocals.

You Drive’s entire self-titled debut — pre-order here — taps into the atmospheric and evocative spirit of Johnny Jewel’s projects, the earnestness of Electric Youth, and the hypnotic quality of Beach House.

The songs cover the experience of being in love and “the ability of those moments to subsume both memory and foresight,” record label YK Records’ press release says. The themes of the record touch on the various and intense milestones of an intimate relationship — the joy, the sadness, the splendor, the frustration. There’s the anticipation of the early days, when you couldn’t wait to see your partner again, to the latter stage in which being with them becomes increasingly impossible. The record runs the gamut, my friends.

You Drive Makeup and Vanity Set
Makeup and Vanity Set without a mask (left) and Jasmin Kaset (right) are You Drive. Photo by Bill Reynolds.

Nashville musicians Pusti and Kaset have known each other for virtually 20 years. The two have collaborated in the past, with Kaset contributing lyrics and vocals to certain cuts on MAVS projects such as Hit TV, 88:88, and Wilderness.

When Pusti and Kaset first decided to make an entire album together as You Drive, MAVS had been scoring several film projects with futuristic/sci-fi settings and sought a break, or a paradigm shift. Pusti wrote instrumental electronic tracks with Kaset’s contributions in mind, according to the press release.

Kaset created a mood board centered on talks the duo had about their shared goal of keeping the album “present, grounded, and centered around universal themes” and then composed lyrics and vocal melodies for the tracks, which Kaset would return to Pusti as voice memos. He then made changes to the instrumentals to better fit the vocals. Only then did they meet in the studio to record the final version of the tracks, the release says.

You Drive Makeup and Vanity Set Jasmin Kaset
The cover for You Drive’s self-titled debut. Art by Caspar Newbolt with a photo by Jeff Brown.

The album is coming soon via YK Records on digital and vinyl formats. Check out Bandcamp for more information.

To listen to more music from Pusti and Kaset individually, here’s a rabbit hole for you: MAVS and Kaset.

 

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