Updated: Apr 9, 2022
'Memory Box' - the new album by London-based indietronica artist Rodney Cromwell - is out now and was released via Happy Robots Records, presenting a sonic pallet that is rich, colourful, often surprising and utterly unique. He's also revealed a cool video for ‘Opus Three’, conveying a feeling that many of us can identify with.
Mixed and co-produced by Richard Bennett at Acme Hall Studios (New York) and mastered by Pete Maher (U2, Goldfrapp, Paul Weller, Pixies), the 'Memory Box' album' mixes synthpop, hauntology, dreampop and European coldwave, using analogue synths and drum machines with minimal computer sequencing. Cromwell creates a distinctive and compelling organic, dream-like world, inspired as much by Alice in Wonderland and Franz Kafka as by its sonic influences - artists including Kraftwerk, The Cure, Polyrock and Stereolab.
FOR FANS OF:
Kraftwerk, New Order, Metronomy, Section 25, Polyrock, Stereolab, Death & Vanilla
Opus Three, Fluctuations, The Waiting Room, Memory Box, Calculations, The Winter Palace
Raincoat photos by Alison Ahern. Other photos by Zamberwell
Scroll below for music video.
Opening with two synthpop numbers, the dystopian coldwave of ‘Intercom’ - with its twisted robot voices - promises us “order will be resumed shortly.” Order comes swiftly in the form of ‘Opus Three;’ a pounding dance-floor filler, reminiscent of the best of Vince Clarke, encouraging us to dance in the face of catastrophe.
Title-track ‘Memory Box' is a haunting trip down a psychological rabbit-hole of half-remembered memories and half-formed truths with sweeping synths traversing a sonic landscape, turning the mundane into the sublime. The album’s central songs plunge us deeper into this theme with almost Kafkaesque abandon. ‘Fluctuations’ is a pounding krautrock number about the dangers of TV shopping and ‘Waiting Room’ a love song for exhausted souls. The uplifting glam-stomp of ‘Wristwatch Television’ looks towards the utopian future promised in 1950’s style magazines, but never delivered.
'Calculations' a melodica-driven dreampop instrumental, melds Brian Eno with Mogwai, pulling us back towards reality. The album closes with its purest synthpop number, ‘The Winter Palace', layered with ice-cool ARP synth strings, the thinnest of vintage drums and lush harmonies, as Cromwell sings of a love bound by ‘drudgeries hold’.
His debut 'Age of Anxiety' LP(2015) and 'Rodney's English Disco' EP (2018) garnered Rodney Cromwell features in Electronic Sound Magazine, NME, Huffington Post, Record Collector, Paste, BBC6 Music and national RNE3 in Spain, for whom he recorded a live session. The album featured in scores of 'Best of' lists, including Electronic Sound and The Electricity Club, who named him 'Most Promising New Act'. He has played lives shows with acts like Pram, Death & Vanilla, M!R!M, Rowetta and Steve Davis. In 2020, he also performed as part of Damo Suzuki of Can’s backing band.
Earlier, the lead single 'Memory Box' was voted by fans into the Dandelion Radio Official Festive 50. Both tracks received press and radio coverage in multiple countries with national radio play in Japan, Finland and Spain, as well as multiple spins on BBC 6 Music.
The 'Memory Box' LP is out now via Happy Robots Records with distribution by Cargo Records. Available on yellow vinyl, it can also be obtained in stores and digitally from all major platforms, including Spotify