Welcome to Gayngs-land. Now, let's begin to reminisce back to R&B in the 1970s and the sweet warmth of love-bumping rhythms. Wildly romantic enough to envision foggy thoughts of naked skin on silk sheets, or at least, a disco ball and spiked punch. This is reminiscent of the type of buzz that the sensational English art rock band 10cc brought about in its heyday. If you can remember that far back, or at least have an appreciation for trippy, synthesized, transcendental tunage, Gayngs is for you.
They are a group of dynamic proportions, producing succulent and modernized power ballads for our indie generation. As a group they are an almost un-generalizable set of accomplished musicians and vocal talents from all over the country. At first, they came together to form your average ‘basement project’ collaboration, one that we may now say has become quite out of hand! This project began when Ryan Olsen (Digitata) wanted to pull together a record with two of the members of Minneapolis-based band Solid Gold (Zack Coulter and Adam Hurlburt).
Through Ryan’s idea came about something much greater than just a pretty good collaboration in a basement and the project began to snowball. The entire GAYNGS crew, rumored to be closing in at 24 people including Solid Gold, POS, Ryan Olson, Justin Vernon, Mike Noyce and Megafaun, will be performing at an event at First Avenue in Minneapolis on Friday, May 14 called The Last Prom on Earth.
They have succeeded in creating a nostalgic sub-pop genre, one akin to the classic R&B stylings of the '70s. With a similarity to the aforementioned 10cc, their breakout hit “I’m Not in Love” will give you a pretty good idea of what the Gayngs collaboration is all about.
In a time when super groups seem to be dominating our airwaves and failing to live up to their hype, it would be safe to say that some of us might be hesitant about this 24-member, well-hyped release. Well, have some faith, music isn’t dead yet; at least not when these kids get together.
It is progressive but not heart-stopping, modern but not overdone. Relayted keeps up a great flow; it doesn’t come at you bogged down with the baggage of a mega-mastered super group. Because really, who wants that sort of thing in their music? In my opinion, it would be like too many pretzels in your Chex Mix. What I am saying is that proportion is on their side. It is simple but with just the right amount of chaos. Super groups like Them Crooked Vultures, Monsters of Folk, Broken Bells — all are good in their own way, however hyped like a journalist’s dream. Even if they weren’t good, we would all go out and buy their albums because of the super-hype. That being said, you don’t have to worry about Gayngs being a super group letdown.
Their first streamed song, “The Gaudy Side of Town,” has a beat that creeps up on you at that wonderful pace of 55 BPM. It's certain to get your blood pumpers pulsating. The track “Faded High” will leave you wanting a cigarette, and wondering why your panties have seemingly wrapped up in a twist after it’s over.
Their most lyrically successful song would be “The Last Prom on Earth,” with Justin Vernon’s vocals and fantastical chimes backing those amazing 55 BPM. It's no wonder that their debut appearance — The Last Prom on Earth — is named for this very song.
Whether you want to get in on this for the most obvious reasons, i.e.: Justin Vernon’s (Bon Iver) mesmerizing falsetto, combined with the excellent use of his new R&B raps (it's okay to admit it, everyone else is) or for the fun of 24 acclaimed artists partying with Ryan Olsen and his compelling 55 BPM, it's a great stroll down memory lane of the ‘70s, or even your prom night in the ‘90s. Whatever it may be, light some candles, throw on some blue eye shadow, and whatever you do, play this one at a high volume.
For all you midwesterners, this Friday night is the debut appearance of Gayngs, celebrating their album release. It's called The Last Prom on Earth, so dig back in that closet, pull out the tux, and mend that pink laced mess of an '80s get-up you might still have floating around, and come and try your hand at something you thought was surely only for one night, but this time without having to sneak the alcohol.
Below, is a special treat for all the GAYNGS fans:some footage from a recent rehearsal.