“Tell Me” is a lot to unpack. There are squealing electronic keyboards, heavily panned squiggles of dissonance, and an endless rumble of thudding low-end and tropical rhythms, all shaken together in their own self-contained world in what amounts to a snowglobe during the summertime. As the first track and lead single from Residual Echoes frontman Adam Payne’s upcoming solo LP Famous Blondes, it promises an album full of exciting left-turns and wondrous moving parts, skillfully arranged and boundlessly kinetic. With its expansive take on budget synth-pop, “Tell Me” is rewarded for its ambition; like if a five-star chef tried their hand at making a Funfetti cake, it’s an expertly crafted simple pleasure. Here’s what Payne had to say about it:
This song started out as an acoustic fingerpicked sunset deal and somehow ended up as this synthetic electric layered digital sunrise affair after I’d been gifted access to an espresso machine. Fripp’s work on Eno’s pop records and Prince’s “Parade” were on heavy rotation at the time.
01 “Tell Me”
02 “Eyes Of The World”
03 “One Man’s Trash”
04 “Open Up”
05 “Stale Roses”
07 “The Lie”
08 “U. Angel”
09 “55 Weeks”
10 “10 Open Up Reprise”
06/27 Seattle, WA @ Lucky Liquor
06/28 Portland, OR @ Valentine’s
06/29 San Francisco, CA @ The Hemlock Tavern
07/22 Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
Famous Blondes is out 7/21 via Selection Records. Pre-order it here.