‘Wearing their hearts on their synths’ – A review of ‘Faded Touch’ by Timecop 1983
The last time I wrote about Timecop 1983, it was almost exactly a year ago.. In that interview Jordy hinted that he had ‘been working very closely with Josh Dally and it has turned into an album full of romantic/love tunes’. One year later and that album has reached us!
‘Faded Touch’ is released this Friday and represents Timecop’s first album since the 2018 hit ‘Night Drive’.
As Jordy hinted back in March 2020, FT as an album is very much a collaborative project between himself and musician Josh Dally, who many will know from his previous work with Timecop 1983 as well as his own project ‘At 1980’ which hit us back in 2020.
‘Faded Touch’ is an 11-track journey that gives us the best of both artists’ gifts as well as touching on some new directions. Here are the Fakeman highlights:
Opening track ‘Holding on to the Memories’ does exactly that. From the introduction we are presented with those recognisable Timecop 1983 chords, this time accompanied by some soft guitar rifts before the track explodes into what I have previously described as the romantic heart of Synthwave. Jody’s music is a gentle opus that gently lifts you and HOTTM is certainly no exception. I was taken back to the Lover’s EPs (my favourite of all Jordy’s work) by it’s simplicity and warmth. In a world where synthwave can be cookie-cutter, it’s a testament to his work that people have not attempted to copy the Timecop 1983 sound.. and those that do, can’t even get within reach.
‘Falling’ is next up a track released at the back end of 2020 and our first introduction to Josh’s topline on the album. The album version of the track treats us to an extended outro which ends the track of on much softer note in comparison to the single release.
‘Feel the Same’ stands out next as Josh’s vocal kicks in early with a real Rob Thomas vibe from the Matchbox Twenty days. The track has a great guitar presence which is a nice development for Timecop’s sound which works fantastically in the latter third of the track. Jordy and Josh have elevated each others sound with this one track, which is exactly what collaborations are all about, right?
‘Moments in Time’ brings back that strong baseline that we know from Timecop, evident in tracks such as Noctural. It’s a driving song. It’s a song for the rain. Its layers of synth are biting and yet have that cushioned impact that you expect from the dreamwave man himself. As a track it is vintage Timecop 1983.
‘One Night’ is the second of two tracks that the gents released ahead of the album release. It’s a great synthpop with a real upbeat tone and the saxaphone. It’s short at just 3:13 but feels like the real radioplay track of the album.
‘New Beginnings’ and ‘Forever’ both usher in the last third of the album and are both melancholic and Vangelis-esque in their presentation. They are both a real juxtaposition to ‘One Night’ in their slow and brooding baseline. What Timecop has always done well is own his space. His sound is his and ‘New Beginnings’ and ‘Forever’ are very much part of that collection.
‘Chemical’ is the track that feels the most progressive of the whole album from the point of Timecop’s sound. It’s a fast, poppy and took me by surprise, which is exactly what I was looking for. It’s got some great hooks and is unapologetically its own thing. What is great about ‘Chemical’ is that originality. Loved it.
Alone is the final instrumental of the album and is an end-of-the-movie credits-sequence track. The drums are big and the synths are dripping in warmth. Again the guitar inclusion is on point and the track has a real Faltermeyer vibe to it.
The final track of the album is ‘Did You Move On?’. Josh’s synthesised vocal adds a layer of sadness and heartbreak to a lyrically grieving song. It’s short and sweet at a 2:31 running time but the question that goes unanswered and ends the album leaves the door open for hopefully more collaborative efforts between the duo.
‘Faded Touch’ is quite the enigma. On one hand it has plenty of that classic Timecop 1983 sounds that will satisfy the big fans and sooth the roughest of souls.. On the other hand it is very progressive for an artist who’s music is arguably very identifiable. Jordy and Josh are clearly a great team and the vocal tracks are nicely spaced out to provide that balance of the Timecop we know and love with the new sounds that ‘Faded Touch’ has brought us.
Those that know me know I am huge fan of Jordy’s work and his music has seen many of us all through some tough times and some great times. He’s a man that wears his heart on his synth and ‘Faded Touch’ is a wonderful addition to a great body of work.. Now lets get the world back to normal so we can see Jordy and Josh play some of this live on stage.
‘Faded Touch’ is released on Friday 2nd April 2021. Keep an eye on Bandcamp. And if you love it, or even just like it.. Buy it. It’s far better than a stream.
Also, if you tune into the Patrick Fakeman Tapedeck Session on Friday night on Youtube, i’ll be playing a selection of tracks from ‘Faded Touch’. So come say hi.
Now you’ll need to excuse me, I have to return some videotapes.