Music » Music Reviews

Album review: 'Lo-Fi Resolutions E.P.'

by

originalsynth_lo-fi_resolutions_albumcover.jpg

Original Synth

‘Lo-Fi Resolutions E.P.’

Self-released

pd022.bandcamp.com

Being stuck inside for the sake of social distancing, it can seem like introspection is all we have right now. But staring down the barrel of your own thoughts, particularly if they involve a nagging need to overhaul your sense of morality, can be tedious and not at all pleasant. Fortunately, Rochester musician Pat Dupont, under the moniker Original Synth, has created a bubbly, electronica-driven soundtrack for all you spiritual seekers.

With the six-track “Lo-Fi Resolutions E.P.” — released digitally, on Bandcamp, March 25 — Dupont has effectively made an earnest pop album within a progressive Judeo-Christian framework, eschewing cheesy proselytizing for self-effacing satire. If there’s any sermonizing here, it’s about advocating for humility and empathy for others.



It helps a lot that the music is irrepressibly quirky and fun. Dupont perfects the medium of indie electro-pop that had its early-2000s renaissance with The Postal Service and saw its culmination in the synth-heavy anthems of Owl City by the end of that decade.

Dupont achieves a wide variety of timbres through the seemingly simple use of keyboards and plenty of technical proficiency, though the music never sounds stilted or lifeless. Be on the lookout for an abundance of synth hooks that are silly and self-aware. Ultimately though, these electro-antics are the sweet sugar coating of some hard-to-swallow pills for those who claim a direct line to spiritual truth.

“A Change in Presentation” calls out the institutionalized hypocrisy of church leaders who disregard the principal tenets of their faith: “‘Blessed are the peacemakers, pray for and love your foes’ doesn’t mean advocate for maintaining the status quo...There’s hell to pay for women who dare cross the party line and grace for every man who gets caught cheating on his wife.”

Dupont comes off like a prophet for the millennial era, whether pointing out the dangers of virtue signaling on the dizzying “Vanity Affair” or the oppressive patriarchal tendencies that are reinforced by religious fundamentalism on “Father Abraham,” with its twisted-carnival atmosphere. In the end, it’s his agnostic perspective that keeps the “Lo-Fi Resolutions E.P.” from being trite: “And I know I’m grasping at sand that’s weightless and passes through our hands/ And the joke’s in the way it completes the beach underneath me.”

Although Dupont’s not charging anything for the self-produced EP — also available on cassette tape by request — he directs listeners to consider sending donations to St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality, where he works, as it continues to serve the community during the pandemic. saintjoeshouse.org/blog/donate.

Daniel J. Kushner is CITY’s music editor. He can be reached at dkushner@rochester-citynews.com.