Bristol-based, electro synth-pop duo Protest Crayon were formed with the intention of producing harmonically personable showbursts that encourage people to do claphands, shout and smile with a warmly human, vintage, electronic, indie synth-pop zing. Inspired by LCD Soundsystem, Elbow and Steve Reich, the former lead singer of folk-indie band The Cedar Neil Gay got together with Jilk drummer Paul MacMahon to use instruments, retro gadgets and toys to bring his music to life. The result is an inventive, poppy album with joyful sounds of stylophones, theremins, toy pianos and old knackered synths.
Playful, twee and cutesy, there’s a delightfully coy flavour to Protest Crayon.
Playful, twee and cutesy, there’s a delightfully coy flavour to Protest Crayon. Their gadgets and toys make for an 8-bit feel and vocals are like a soothing lullaby. This is most pronounced on “Floorboards” which sounds as if it was either recorded while playing a Commodore 64, or written on one. There’s hints of Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem throughout as Protest Crayon avoid formulaic composition and go crazy on their stylophone and theramin to create quirky pop music. There’s a lightness to their music which is instantly enjoyable and easy to savour on a hot summer day.