It’s been six years since John Maus’ last album We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, which drew critical acclaim and established him as one of the most interesting artists around today, if not the most reverb and delay- drenched. The lengthy wait in between albums might spell trouble for an artist, but not so much Maus, whose new offering Screen Memories delivers another strong dose of lo-fi synth-pop to make you dance and weep simultaneously.
Like with all Maus albums it feels as if you are seeing a vast, dystopic cityscape in the reflection of a river, so that nothing is distinct but all is more beautiful for it. Epic opener ‘The Combine’ hears Maus at his boldest and most ghostly as he croons “It’s going to dust us all to nothing, man.” There is plenty of euphoric synth and drum machine to shake away existential dread however on tracks like the driving ‘Find Out’ and ‘Over Phantom’. This isn’t a dramatic change in direction for the philosopher from Minnesota but Maus’ latest album proves this is something to be very grateful for.