WRITTEN BY: Vince Barreras
Philadelphia’s own new wave/synth pop band Korine just released their second record via Born Losers Records, a Philadelphia based record label. Members Morgy Ramone and Trey Frye return with their infectious brand of new wave and synth pop. Morgy’s voice is warm, heartfelt, and addictive while the synth programming by Trey is dancy, deep, and full and will stick with you even after the record is over. Just after the duo dropped their first record, 2018’s New Arrangements, there was an immediate buzz within the goth scene in Philly. You couldn’t see a bill of like minded artists without seeing Korine listed. The live performances are just as good as the record. Unfortunately, the band’s 20+ city tour was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but they are making the most of their art by releasing this perfect record. In the midst of tragedy, this record serves as a glimmer of hope in a dark world.
With an opening track like “For Sure,” it’s hard to not see how this record won’t be incredible. The synths are bouncy and atmospheric while remaining contemporary and fresh. Morgy’s sweet voice compliments this instrumentation of romantic lyrics. The hook of this song both lyrically and instrumentally is contagious as anything the duo has ever put out. It’s hard to think of a better opening track than this one. “Fate” continues the energy of the previous track and “Cruel” shares a warmer tone of instrumentation and really allows Morgy’s vocals to be front and center. “Nothing Here” finds itself in the middle of the previous tracks, upbeat, but at times mellow but nonetheless a bop. “Cold Heart” is the standout track of this record. Talk about a song that really sells an album and this is it. The track flows like water in that one minute it’s high and the next low but always keeps on a steady tempo. About halfway through the track, the synths and vocals pause and they reappear and explode into this verse that has so much energy and passion.
“When We’re One” uses similar tempo and pacing as some of the records intro tracks where its keep at a reasonably high tempo pace but incorporates pacing elements of “Cold Heart.” Pulsating synths and heavy vocals are pluses. “The Last” is definitely a track that is working with pacing and slowing the momentum down getting ready for the final track “Cast,” which is a fun and perfect way to end the record. The synths are warm, and soft. The vocals and lyrics are heartfelt, honest, and vulnerable. “I just want to make you mine” are relatable lyrics to anyone who has gone through some type of tragedy and they speak volumes. The synth tones compliment these somber lyrics and as the track begins to reach its conclusion these words echo out as the track and record comes to an end.
Korine continues to be one of the most exciting acts in the “goth scene” in Philly. Their blend of synth pop and new wave music can really capture any music listeners ear because it’s got something for everyone. The electronic element will sure grab people’s attention even if they are the most casual of music listeners for its dancey synth lines. Korine are a talented duo and whenever live music resumes are necessary to see live. They sound just as good live as they do on the record. Front to back this is one of the best records of the year.
For Fans of: Arch of Love, Crozet, Graveyard Club
- For Sure
- Nothing Here
- Cold Heart
- When We’re The One
- The Last