Synthpop purveyors Culture Culture were supposed to lead the year with the release of their new EP, JX-3Please, but instead the band dropped a new single late last night out of the blue. Not that we’re complaining, mind you, because “RGB” has a central groove that is as silky as it is effervescent. It may not have the brimming, bursting at the seams enthusiasm of the group’s last single, “Ashton Kutcher, Come Back,” but it does retain a similar ability to catch you unawares and lead you down mysterious rabbit holes.
Listening to each of the track’s layers build and stack upon one another, there’s a kind of architectural quality to the songwriting where each hook and melody becomes the underpinning for what happens next. If that sounds too formal and structured, worry not; the band leaves plenty of hidden rooms and secret passageways to explore. Culture Culture may share a natural love for ’80s retro-style pop, but their willingness to assume risks and take unexpected detours speaks equally to the adventurous spirit of ’70s prog rock.
At this early juncture, it’s tough to say exactly what these guys do best: create massively infectious hooks or submerge their songs in a labyrinthine maze of fascinating sonic digressions. The answer, of course, is both. There are a lot of bands out there mired deep in ’80s nostalgia, but few sound as inventive or as invigorating as Culture Culture. Listen below.