Brendan the Navigator and thepaintingcompany have released their split single today. Comprised of two songs – Brendan the Navigator’s “Animal” and thepaintingcompany’s “just a little off!” – the single finds the two members of Modern Chemistry coming together in a way that they haven’t before, this time with their solo projects. Whether it marks the first of more to come, or just a new chapter in the Modern Chemistry universe, the split finds both artists charting new territory. Listen to both songs now below.
Brendan the Navigator recorded guitars and synths in his bedroom, and laid down vocals and drums at Little Hollywood Studios. “Animal” is, in Hourican’s words, about “… feeling embarrassed about how much I want someone. And lacking the courage to do anything about it.” Even, “…being pathetic and creepy.” It’s a lot to admit to yourself, never mind saying it out loud on your first-ever solo effort. The beauty of its super-catchy, hyper-personal melodies call to mind Phoebe Bridgers, Holly Humberstone, Ethel Cain, even Lizzy McAlpine. Hourican’s given his ache its own anthem – an intense, sprawling track here to be your companion in the darkness, or better yet, lift you out of it.
thepaintingcompany, meanwhile, moves in the same buoyant pop orbit as HAIM, MUNA, Bon Iver, Phil Collins, and Peter Gabriel. Joe also split the tracking for “just a little off!” between his home and Little Hollywood. Lyrically, he says, “it just focuses on how easy it is to get stuck in your own head. It’s hard to stay in the present and focus on what you’re actually doing. Add in some choice paralysis, and it’s game over.” It’s an electric kick inspired by the best, time-tested tunes of the 80s, of course updated with modern sounds. In fact, it’s a textured, hooky soundscape, with a depth of emotion so cinematic, you might be forgiven for lifting a boombox above your head in an act of romantic desperation.