Premiere: Emotional, “Pain 4 Pleasure”

Performing as Emotional, Brian Wakefield is a Melted Toys player, turned vintage synth pop crooner after relocating from SF to LA. It's almost pre-written that leaving the Nor Cal rockist haven for the sunspotted So Cal empire would lead to a creative shift towards damaged cool and drum machines. Wakefield's Emotional project is aptly coined, as he meanders through the rubble of an abandoned side of town, a loner with only a guitar to transmit his pain.

With shoegazer on his resume, Wakefield takes to "Pain For Pleasure" with plenty of patience and a lingering affinity for heavy reverb. The kitschy-tools of lo-fi collide with the woozy sway of synth pop, particularly of the R&B ilk, and for good measure he lets it all deteriorate into a syrupy crawl. It might read like a recipe for disaster, Wakefield is just the letterman jacket-clad frontman to pull it off with grace.

Stick around for an surprise ending that will take you back to those glorious 90s teen movies.

Stay glued to Gnar Tapes for news regarding the next Emotional record and dig back to the debut Feeling out now.