Late Cambrian is the artistic partnership of John Wlaysewski and Olive Hui, but they are also a romantic couple. Perhaps that level of closeness allows them to freely invade each other’s space when it comes to making dreamy, hella catchy pop songs, such as their new single “It’s Always Something.” From the title, you might be expecting a dense lament of a song, but the track is a feel-good, toe-tapping pure Pop banger! The song comes from their forthcoming new album Future Snacks, out September 23rd, 2022 via Mifflin Street Music. We are very excited to premiere the fun video for this uplifting track. If you are having a bad day, here is your medicine!
Future Snacks is both musically and thematically diverse while never feeling derivative or out-of-control, an impressive feat that is largely testament to the unique partnership between Wlaysewski and Hui. The record was recorded in Wlaysewski and Hui’s Brooklyn apartment, with Wlaysewski acting as the primary songwriter, producer and arranger, and Hui acting as a production consultant and editor while also contributing vocals, lyrics, and keys throughout the record.
“I played 98% of the music on this record, but Olive’s input is so important,” says Wlaysewski. “When we write, Olive plumbs the depths of her unorganized imagination and then I try to organize those ideas into something that has rhythm and melody. I tend to be more rational, which drives the sound of the songs, but then sometimes some barriers need to be broken, and that’s where Olive comes in.”
The album kicks off with “The Last Wave” a dance-rock track that showcases the duo’s melodic prowess as Wlaysewski’s vocals float atop buzzy synthesizers and a pulsing rhythm section. On its surface, the track serves as a festival-ready indie-pop song belying its nature as a subtle introduction to the album’s ominous tone.
“Catching the last wave feels like something really upbeat and positive,” says Wlaysewski. “But there’s this underlying feeling of grabbing life by the horns before it’s over, that something ominous is on the horizon. Like, it’s the last wave before what?”
There’s a pervasive darkness churning beneath the bubbly surface of each track on Future Snacks. The album’s title track, inspired by Wlaysewski’s time organizing and running sound at underground cannabis events in Manhattan, explores the exciting but unsettling disconnect of being the architect of your own experience, physically present but acutely aware of the manufactured nature of the event, and the ever-present reality of mortality.
“We were originally going to call the album Future Ghosts, but I thought it was too grim,” says Wlaysewski. “Future Snacks came out of that idea of planning for a party, creating an experience, but then underneath that there’s the creeping sense that it can all end at any time. In a way, we’re all future snacks.”
Elsewhere on Future Snacks, Late Cambrian dive head first into the metaverse, as the future-pop masterpiece “Sydney Sweeney” explores the horror of being terminally online, escaping reality and embracing the downward spiral. After three minutes of genre-bending synth-pop and biting lyrics skewering the endless scroll, the duo close the album with a heavily modulated, “It can’t be worse than last year, humanity says proudly: ‘Hold my beer…’”
Late Cambrian first formed over a decade ago after Wlaysewski and Hui met while working on set on an episode of Nurse Jackie. Almost immediately, the duo started writing and releasing music together, and released four LPs over the course of seven years. Now, with Future Snacks, Late Cambrian have built on the legacy that they have created, often taking inspiration from their own past works to inspire themselves in the present.
“Future Snacks started almost as an intellectual pursuit, trying to capture the feeling of a few of our earlier songs on something new,” says Wlaysewski. “It’s kind of like our past life meeting our current life,” adds Hui.
As for the future, there’s no telling what it may look like, but Late Cambrian are ready to provide the soundtrack.
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