One Hollywood screenwriter — a guy who has co-written Marvel films and other fine fare — called FM-84’s album Atlas, “pure pop pleasure.” FM-84’s a big draw when he performs live. His music has millions of streams on Spotify. But just who is FM-84?
You’re here because you’ve heard FM-84’s music and love it. You want to know more about it and about the artist.
You’re in luck, because Vehlinggo has written a lot about the San Francisco-based FM-84.
What’s FM-84 Been Up to Most Recently?
FM-84 (including Ollie Wride, who is a de facto member at this point) will be doing a four-date mini-tour in the fall of 2018. Details in the image below.
At SXSW in March 2018, FM-84 DJed at a Ready Player One event.
On Nov. 19, 2017 FM-84 (AKA Col Bennett) was a guest on a one-off Vehlinggo podcast, discussing everything from his career to the synthwave scene to anecdotes about performing live. He also discusses what the future holds.
On Nov. 18, 2017, FM-84 (and frequent collaborator Ollie Wride) did a double-bill show with The Midnight at The Globe in Los Angeles.
FM-84’s most recent release is “Never Stop,” a single with Wride (“Running in the Night,” “Don’t Want to Change Your Mind, “Wild Ones”).
Also recently, Josep & Kane remixed “Running in the Night” for an Anjunabeats compilation curated by Grum.
Before that, he teased two works-in-progress, “Maverick” and “Radio,” featuring Josh Dally. Listen below.
FM-84 also announced and quickly sold out an initial vinyl pressing of Atlas via Electronic Purification Records. There was a repress, but it sold out quickly. If you want either variant, it will cost you.
Vehlinggo Has Several Articles on FM-84
Perhaps you’re interested to know that Zack Stentz, a writer of Thor, X-Men: First Class, the upcoming Top Gun sequel, The Flash TV show, and a cascade of awesome sci-fi shows (Andromeda!) is a huge FM-84 fan? The interview with Stentz will tell you all about his love for FM-84 and retro-inspired synth-pop/synthwave.
In March 2015 Aaron Vehlinggo interviewed FM-84 when the artist was first getting his start (and followed it up with a 45-minute podcast interview segment in November 2017). Aaron also reviewed several FM-84 releases, including the Los Angeles EP and 2016’s Atlas LP.
Here’s some of what Vehlinggo wrote about Atlas:
There are upbeat and intricate instrumentals that recall Tycho, and pop hits that recall the best of mid- to late-1980s synthpop and blue-eyed R&B. For the latter he collaborated with the likes of British retrosynth singer/songwriter Ollie Wride and When In Rome’s Clive Farrington, co-writer of the hit “The Promise.”
The Wride collaboration “Don’t Want to Change Your Mind” is the highlight of Atlas. The massive, slow-burning pop/R&B number is a hook-laden cut largely reminiscent of the 80s work of artists such as Human League, Breathe, and Lionel Richie, but as it progresses there are shades of M83 amid the transcendent synths of 80s-era Starship.
There was also that time Aaron interviewed FM-84 about his plans for performing live.
Aaron also ended up feeling inspired by the massive, galactic quality of FM-84’s and others’ music and wrote about that.
Below are embeds of FM-84’s available releases.
The first is the debut full-length LP, Atlas. The latter is the Los Angeles EP. You’ll want to listen to everything to get a true idea of the nature of FM-84’s genius.
FM-84 – ‘Never Stop’
FM-84 – Atlas
FM-84 – Los Angeles