Edmonton synth-pop artist Artisan Loyalist is releasing his new single, “Refractor,” on April 6. The track, a slow dance of hazy synths, punchy drums and soft coos, is the first from his second album, Caustics, available April 27 on Sky Council/Sony.
Caustics, mastered by Joe Lambert (The National, Animal Collective, Daughter) feels like a luscious sunset of ‘80s inspired synth-pop. “Acres” raises the question of legacy, brims with a cascade of cymbals and mellow funk grooves while “Cautious Optimist,” a nod to artistic frustrations, shimmers with leisurely synths and guitars.
Artisan Loyalist is composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer Rob Batke. From 2006 to 2014, he was a member of Faunts, a seminal Canadian shoegaze band, featuring his brothers Tim and Steven Batke. Together, they released their breakthrough EP, M4 (2006) and an album, Feel.Love.Thinking.Of. (2009). Several of their songs appeared in TV shows and video games, including the Mass Effect franchise.
Caustics follows Artisan Loyalist’s full-length debut, Lonely Ghost (2015), and is the second in a trilogy of albums. “I think Caustics is more immediate and relevant because it came together a lot faster,” says Batke.
“A lot of the lyrics, too, I wrote very quickly and performed very quickly, so it didn’t feel so obvious or apparent to me what they were about. Instead of being reflective of the past, the lyrics revealed themselves more to me later.”
Check out the track below: