Zhao offers us some 80s synth pop realness on his new EP, The Ride.
Through the pop-leaning beats, Zhao’s early training in classical piano forms the backbone of his sound, which is evidently clear in each song from the four-track EP.
It’s not good to over-compare artists to another artist/s, but Zhao’s music really does take us back to the hey-days of the 80s (I wasn’t born, but I can imagine) where synth-pop was taking over the world with artists like The Eurythmics and Duran Duran.
Opener, “The Fighter,” could literally have been released by anyone from the New Romantics era, it truly is a throwback to one of the greatest era’s of music to ever existed – and that fade though!? How often do we see a faded finish in music nowadays?
Although we keep mentioning how 80s the EP is, we can’t ignore the modern twists and electro elements that have been scattered through each of the tracks which give them an ultimately modern feel – take title track, “The Fade,” for example!
The fast-paced nature of the song continues the four-to-floor dance vibes while also giving us a strong indie-pop feeling – which is strange being as the song is ultimately a Blondie style song.
“Passing Of Time” and “Lifetime” offer us slower moments, although they’re still as epic in their own way, with the latter giving us a larger than like chorus.
“Passing” has a rousing synth undercurrent that gets our heart racing and only really lets up on the second chorus where we have a chilled, dream-pop style of breakdown where the production gives us space vibes.
Check out the EP below and let us know what you think in the comments!