no:carrier – “Hero to a Fool”
Synth-pop duo no:carrier are very aware that their sound cannot be classified concisely. “We have our very own sound that includes elements from several styles, from dark-wave to synth-pop, from acoustic to electro,” says chief songwriter and producer Chris Wirsig, who along with vocalist Cynthia Wechselberger comprises no:carrier. “We found our own way, we are not going on the trodden paths, we stay true to our ideals and write exactly the songs we want to write.” With a full-length due out next month, the group is already receiving praise in dark synth-pop circles, where fans of Depeche Mode, Portishead, and the like are seeking out synth-pop’s next dark purveyors.
no:carrier has actually been around since 1995, when it was founded in Germany. The current duo line-up has existed since 2001, and the two cotinue to share ideas and songs between Wirsig in San Francisco and Wechselberger in her native Germany. They released two acclaimed albums, My Own Dream in 2002 and Between the Chairs in 2011, and now no:carrier returns with a new album in late April or early May. Preceding that is an EP, Confession, being released this month. One of that EP’s highlights is a fascinating electro/acoustic hybrid, “Hero to a Fool”. The track touches on the societal worship of so-called heroes, whose positive perceptions are fueled by cunning PR and damage control, as opposed to actual good deeds. “The lyrics are socio-critical. Sadly we are really living in a time where the dumbest man can look like a hero to a fool, as it is said in the song,” Wirsig remarks.
The initial clock-ticking in “Hero to a Fool” leads into a warbled synth-pop melody with a backing organ and hoarse synth-bass. Wechselberger’s vocals glide over the arrangements in impeccable form, comparable to the powerful female vocal performances on swelling electro tracks like Massive Attack’s “Unfinished Sympathy“. It’s a tidy and memorable effort, one showing both the infectious appeal and vintage synth-pop arsenal of no:carrier. Stream the Confession EP in its entirety below: