PREMIERE: Respect your elders, especially the pummeling synths of Grandsister

Man I love a good team up. Batman and Superman. Green Lantern and The Flash. Godzilla and King Kong. Tofu and Soy Sause. Sarah Belkner and Will Colvin. If you don’t know about that last pairing don’t fret, you’ll soon come to know their work as Grandsister, and their new track Headlights is dropping today.

Grandsister Sarah Belkner

Hedge Fund’s Will Colvin reveals his dark solo alter ego Grandsister. With some great vocals from Sarah Belkner, Headlights is a pulsing synth winner.

Grandsister is the solo moniker for Colvin, who any Sydney-sider will know as the charismatic frontman for post-punk outfit Hedge Fund. Now it’s poor form to compare to different musical projects, but it’s essential to highlight everything that is awesome about Grandsister. Hedge Fund are essentially a rock band. A good one at that, but their most enthralling element is Colvin’s empowered performances. He has a moody, infectious energy that comes to life on Headlights.

Grandsister sees Colvin unleash those feelings in full force, this time in the realm of pulsing synth-pop. Think along the lines of Dappled Cities but with that post-punk edge that makes Hedge Fund so fun to listen to. His team-up with Belkner is a good fit. He hands vocal duties over to her and she nails it. Belkner is well suited to the menacing, thumping synths Colvin utilises. Her own work is steeped in alternative pop, her smoky vocals are well suited to the synth heavy sound. She makes good use of her range, purring her way through the verses before unleashing her falsetto in the chorus.

Colvin brings the track together with a cacophony of sounds that swarm like wasps ready to go in for the kill (don’t take that to heart kids, wasps are more afraid of you then you are of them). Those bright keys bounce in the silence, while more ambient tones swirl in the background. He continues to add more layers as the track continues, the track propelled forward by a thick bass line. The track’s greatest strength is it’s versatility in sound. It maintains a brisk pace yet constantly shifts it’s look, one moment all synths the next anchored by electric guitar.

That isn’t to say Headlights is schizophrenic. Never does it feel too crowded with sounds. Colvin does well to draw each element out when needed, marrying them appropriately to give the track it’s overwhelming dramatic edge alongside Belkner’s entrancing vocals.

If you’re a fan of either Colvin’s or Belkner’s day jobs I highly recommend checking this one out. Hopefully we’ll see Grandsister in a live setting soon.