These days, it seems like you can hardly go a week without discovering another great band from Portland, Oregon. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that city's musician density may even top my beloved Brooklyn.
In any case, today, I'm proud to introduce you to Night Surgeon, known to their families as Patrick Replogle and John Boyd. This duo plays a lively breed of new-wave/ indie/synth pop, but they do it with unusual polish. What you'll hear is the sound of two Berklee School of Music graduates cranking out top-grade tunes with complex arrangements of smart lyrics, buzzy synths, lightly-funky guitar, and yes, real drums. In all, it's a big, bright sound that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Cut Copy or other up-and-comers like Starlings or Penguin Prison.
"Brick Moon" takes aim at the artificial nature of so many aspects of modern life--"If only we could remain close/Inside a world full of live ghosts," Patrick sings, "The only thing I trust/Is you and me here." In the final 45 seconds, they amp up the drama by taking the music down a notch, and posing The Big Question: "If everyone's so synthetic/It's getting harder to tell/Are we human/Or are we digital?" I'll leave you to ponder that one. Meanwhile, I'm going to give the song another spin.
On iTunes: Night Surgeon / "Brick moon"