“Canyons” by Detroit’s Android Automatic is like listening to a soothing slow ride through a distant fond memory. I suspect that this is exactly the feeling that producer Michael Gene Graham was going for when he put this album together.
The cover art by Cameron McPhee features a wide spectrum of “sunset” colors, but it’s primarily accentuated with dark midnight blue. The cover also has a car that appears to have joyfully driven through the long night. There is sun is rising up behind a tableau of canyons and morning fog peacefully coexisting in a breathtaking southwestern landscape.
Truly great Synthwave has the ability to capture feelings of longing, sadness, and emotive nostalgia for a time that never was. “Canyons” does this beautifully. Android Automatic creates this atmosphere through an effective use of sweeping dreamlike pads and arpeggios. The drums are the greatest asset that “Canyons” has going for it. They have an Oberheim DMX quality to them–especially the toms and claps which are liberally used throughout. This strong rhythm section when coupled together with a subtle driving low-end creates clear direction for the album to travel upon. This allows “Canyons” to stay focused through a distinctive set of song structures that are pleasing to the ear.
“Canyons” feels like a lost soundtrack straight out of the 1980s. I really have to applaud the execution on this album, it features an exquisite mix of songs that makes me feel all of the memories. And for that it makes me sad. So sad, in fact, that I feel compelled to get into to my car and just drive. Thank you Android Automatic for creating this wonderfully touching album.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Synthwave fans looking for feels in all the right places.
Stand-Out Tracks: The city-popish “Exhale,” “Nightfall,” “Lonely Roads,” “Canyon Cruise,” and “Beyond the Unknown”
Album Color Profile: #2E86C1
You can find all things Android Automatic at: https://androidautomatic.bandcamp.com/