Cyrus Keefer, Chris Tolentino and Kayla Rae make up the stunning collective known as Airwaves Spectacular, who originally formed in 2017, but the boys in the band have been grinding since many years before, under different guises. Their brand new album, “Sinemadik” is a truly rewarding listen. The music is exquisitely played, impeccably arranged and the lyrics are thoughtful and vivid. Calling this Baltimore based unit, an alternative pop and rock band, is pretty reductive after listening to this release. Airwaves Spectacular weave a whole lot of styles and flavors into this new 10 track recording – which goes from alternative to darkwave, and pop to synthwave, with traces of jazz and rock and lots of retro vibes that will take you back to the eighties…if you’ve ever been there. If you haven’t been there due to an unlucky birth date, “Sinemadik” is a rare chance for you to get an authentic slice of that happy, carefree and fresh taste. The 80’s was a far cry from the frustrated paranoia with all the overt surveillance going on now.
Very rarely does one come across an album with tracks so listenable, so delectable, and so pleasing, that it simply occupies and becomes a part of the space that is your sound system. From the moment Airwaves Spectacular kick in with the opening track, “Felidae”, they wrap in their web of rhythm, melody and harmony.
And they do it differently ten times over, because not one track sounds like another on, “Sinemadik”. The combination of male and female vocals, supplied respectively by Cyrus Keefer and Kayla Rae are unique and memorable, while the instrumentals spearheaded by mastermind Chris Tolentino will bring you into a whole other stratosphere.
One of my favorite tracks on the album is the jazzy “Call Waiting”. Anybody who has an affinity for the Canadian singer-songwriter Gino Vannelli, will quickly identify Keefer’s deep resonating vocal tones with Vannelli’s earlier work. Totally sublime.
But Airwaves Spectacular are able to flip the sonic switch within a blink of an eye, and on “Target Obvious” they’re already in another, synth dominated dimension. Do you wish you could feel yesterday, tomorrow and the present moment blend into an unforgettable instant of bliss? Then surrender to the enveloping rhythm and sound of “Optical Light”.
“A Place With No Doors” forges a classic electric piano driven backdrop, and Keefer’s haunting voice again. In between, Kayla Rae adds all her vocal sweetness to the track. A voice in this record is a means to soothe, a melody is a means to get emotions flooding through your body; it’s pure music, not just sound.
This is the type of album to vibe to when you want music, but just don’t know which genre of music taste you want at the moment. Airwaves Spectacular make the need for genre obsolete. Listen to how they switch it up again on “Undiscovered”, with funky guitars and synth basslines.
All entrancing, with continuous stylistic transformations, Airwaves Spectacular move from the banging programmed drums on “When Spiders Cornered” to the spiraling synths and jangling guitars on “Summit Life”, with the same inherent creativity and energy.
In an era when most groups are yelling and screaming to get our attention, Airwaves Spectacular has put out an album of wonderful music. The smooth duet on “A Love Without Reason” and the dynamic, orchestrally inclined “Pelicula”, is just another two examples of good, thoughtful music, artfully performed.
Ultimately, what makes this album different is the quality of these tracks – both musically and vocally. Listen to “Sinemadik” while you commute, listen to it after dinner, listen to it under the moonlight, it somehow seems perfect for any situation and will never fail to stir something inside of you.