Indie-pop duo Video Age transcend their 80s pastiche on Pop Therapy | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Indie-pop duo Video Age transcend their 80s pastiche on Pop Therapy 

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Video Age

Sarah Wagner

On their second album, 2018’s Pop Therapy (Inflated Records), New Orleans indie duo Video Age liberally apply the glassy, frictionless keyboards and cheesy affectations of 80s synth-pop. But fortunately, Ray Micarelli (drums) and Ross Farbe (guitar, vocals, production) aren’t interested in simply replicating the unmistakable sounds of the Reagan years—the duo transplant them into a slightly different context, building a connection to some of modern indie pop’s illustrious ancestors. Video Age have cited Donald Fagen and Paul McCartney as influences, and Pop Therapy nods to more than just the digital production of Fagen’s classic 1982 LP, The Nightfly—it borrows the sly, sophisticated, slightly bent songwriting of both stars’ 80s work. Farbe and Micarelli’s songs have enough hooks to capture listeners who have short attention spans, and they also borrow from blue-eyed soul and boogie—though they approach those styles holistically, not by nicking a drum sound here and a keyboard lick there. Plus if you close your eyes and focus on Farbe’s sorrowful vocals on the waterlogged ballad “Is It Her?,” you can hear strains of the 1980 album McCartney II—Video Age have baked the DNA of Macca’s unconventional power pop into their material.   v

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