Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade went totally new wave with his latest project, Operators. The synth-forward trio released Radiant Dawn, a second studio album, recently via Last Gang Records, and Operators perform at U Street Music Hall on Saturday, July 13.
On their debut album, Blue Wave, Operators dealt with technology and isolation, while Radiant Dawn takes a new vision of the speculative future. The album is completely conceptual from words to instrumentation — start to finish.
Each song on Radiant Dawn paints a different future. Each character in each song is moving towards an apocalyptic event — this is not dystopia, it is not Blade Runner or Mad Max. Instead, the lyrical content of this album takes interest in different modes of utopia and how they fail. Radiant Dawn was influenced by Max Fisher and his theory of the nostalgia loop, Suzanne Ciani, and Delia Derbyshire.
Watch the official music video for “I Feel Emotion” by Operators on YouTube:
Keyboardist Devojka detailed the video vision for “I Feel Emotion”: “‘I Feel Emotion’ is a song for anyone who feels like they don’t know how to be alive in the world today. The video we made for ‘I Feel Emotion’ is compound nostalgia. It was inspired by a video installation I saw at an exhibition at MOMA called ‘Toward A Concrete Utopia, Architecture in Yugoslavia 1948-1980.’
“The installation was a stack of tv screens playing short loops taken from what looked to be old commercials and footage of people in various states of everydayness,” she continued. “As a first generation ex-Yugoslavian, I was surprised to find myself fascinated and moved; the intimacy of a woman ecstatically twirling with her purse flung on her shoulder in her smart and modern skirt completely arrested me. I come from a long line of pain, and I’ve been estranged from my family for some years now. Making the video was a way to connect to this heritage; something equally familiar and foreign to me. I combed through hours of footage from old Yugoslavian films looking for those intimate moments — the moments that happen between the BIG EVENTS in our lives.”
“Crosswiring ’80s-Springsteen valor with contemporaneous synthpop, the second album from Dan Boeckner’s disco power trio channels the crushing fear of imminent collapse,” Pitchfork said.