Formed in Ireland in 2015, synth trio producer-musicians Darragh O’Connor, Johnny Smee and Jack O’Flaherty, driven by a love for the 1980’s and all things electronic, began to collaborate on synthwave-inspired music and the result it Exiles. Red Lights, the lead track from their debut EP is a vocal-tinged, synthwave monster and I like it a lot.
Citing the soundtracks to Lethal Weapon, and Lethal Weapon 2 (!) as their influences, Exiles build on those inspirations to create a sound, powered by synth hooks and uptempo beats, overlaid with some almost hair metal guitar licks that evokes the best memories of the 80s and beyond; with a modern sound and production that almost brings to mind Hurts at their best, or Kavinsky on pretty much anything he’s done.
If I could drive, this is the music that would be playing as I sped in to the sunrise at the end of a crazy night in Vegas. Instead I’ll try to get people to sing along to it on the night bus, which wouldn’t be difficult, because this expansive, almost anthemic at times synthpop is some of the best music i’ve heard all year.