Bill Chiklakis and Kevin Tofalo are songwriters who were collaborating back in the 80’s and are still at it. The duo called October just released a well-put together album entitled October Moon.
Tofalo provides the lush atmospheres through the way of synths while also playing the drums and bass parts. Chiklakis tackles the singing and plays the guitars. When their forces combine they sound like undeniable 80’s soft synth pop. There is nothing wrong with that but sounds unapologetically stuck in that decade and everything from the way the songs are mixed, to the structure and to the vocal delivery sound remind me of it.
The album starts off with “October Moon” which builds upon triumphant sounding synth horns, some sparse piano and bass. As the song progresses it gains more energy as the drums and lead guitar are introduced. By the end of the song they are jamming out on lead synth that transitions to the outro. “The Bigger The Love” was a solid song with a good vocal hook (I admit I was singing along when the chorus hit) and would have made a great B-side to the 1982 classic “Avalon” by Roxy Music. So “Day By Day” is a bit cheesy but so what the chorus is undeniably catchy.
“Talk About It” is a solid song with some of the best energy on the album as it utilizes an arrepegiated synth to create a subtle sense of motion. The synth work in general in the song is well-done as it is varied, present but not overdone. “Slip Away” may be the best track and most danceable number on the album. The drums and bass during the verse were reminiscent of New Order - hard to not get down with that. In typical 80’s fashion they close with a nostalgic ballad called “Every Road,” which is a solid song with classic sounds.
October Moon is a solid album with a number of good tunes. If you are yearning for 80’s synth pop you just found your new favorite record and if not it’s still worth a spin.
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