Canadian Synth Pop Quartet Actors Bring an Expansively Cinematic and Yet Intimate Sound to MOTR Pub

The Vancouver, British Columbia band is invested in its Gothic/New Wave roots but it is also a product of its contemporary Electronic environment

click to enlarge Actors - Photo: Kira Clavell
Photo: Kira Clavell
Actors

By the late ’70s, Punk had upended all perceptions of what constituted Rock, and New Wave was offering a slightly more antiseptic but still anarchic perspective on the same subject. Of particular interest were the chilly Synth Pop bands that combined the aggression of Punk with the broad appeal of Pop and swirled it into a Dairy Queen confection that was both sweet and dark. For Canadian Synth Pop quartet Actors, that musical period is a living, breathing entity that has never gone out of fashion.

That’s not to say that Actors are trapped in the unyielding amber of genre worship. The Vancouver, British Columbia band is invested in its Gothic/New Wave roots but it is also a product of its contemporary Electronic environment, and the result is a sound that nods to its past while barreling full-tilt into the second decade of the new millennium. The true wonder of Actors is how the foursome — guitarist/vocalist Jason Corbett, synthesizer/vocalist Shannon Hemmett, bassist Jahmeel Russell and drummer Adam Fink — has become so masterful in its relatively brief seven-year history.

Up until last year, Actors had been content to share their music by way of regular single releases, but 2018 finally saw a full album’s worth of material — the compelling It Will Come to You. With a sonic texture that suggests the psychedelic maelstrom of Echo & the Bunnymen, the arctic blast of Tubeway Army, the perpetual boys’ swing of David Bowie and the dark modernity of The National, Actors has succeeded in making entrancing music that is simultaneously expansively cinematic and yet somehow claustrophobically intimate. It’s a rare band that can successfully absorb and still transcend their source influences, but Actors has done it with casual brilliance on a slate of bracing singles, including their recent cover of The Sound’s “Mining for Heart,” and the first of hopefully many full-length albums.


10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.

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