Germans – “Cruel”

Germans - Julia Kwamya

The stunning tracks from Roman à Clef last week had me perusing the recent production efforts of Kurt Feldman, also known as the frontman of Ice Choir, the drummer of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and producer extraordinaire of everything from sparkling electro-pop (Germans) to Prefab Sprout-inspired new-wave (Roman à Clef). I also just remembered that Feldman was a member of now-defunct shoegazers The Depreciation Guild, featured on Obscure Sound way back in 2007. He has apparently been inside my ears all these years and I didn’t even realize it.

Looking at his recent efforts, one of his most memorable productions is “Cruel”, a track by Brooklyn-based songwriter Julia Kwamya, who goes under the alias Germans. Alas, it’s not a cover of Prefab Sprout’s cover of the Public Image Ltd. classic, but an entirely new sparkling gem altogether. Feldman has tweeted about The Neverending Story on several occasions, and the fluttering synth-pop presented here and with Ice Choir concocts a similarly fantasy-like ’80s nostalgia. As each hook is book-ended by a punchy “what could I do?” from Kwamya’s ethereal vocals, a blurry bass and Christmas-time synth twinkles comprise a beautiful melody. The tagline for Feldman’s Twitter page is “christmas synths abound, all year round,” and this wonderful effort certainly abides by that.

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Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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