As a recap for the scatterbrained, the solo analogue darkwave-synthpop project, Alien Skin, is inhabited by George Pappas, a former member of the Australian synthesizer band, Real Life that topped the 1984 charts with their million seller track, ‘Send Me An Angel’. Alien Skin has dropped a number of critically-acclaimed album projects over the years. Timeless in sound and as emotional and catchy as any synthwave coming out of the 80s, his latest upcoming album, ‘Put Your Lips On My Lips’, gets to where the core of neon-soaked nostalgia comes from. The patented Alien Skin machine tones and textures are still here in spades, but there’s much more of an organic feel to the compositions. Notwithstanding his over forty-year experience in the business of making music, it’s clear Alien Skin has yet to reach the ceiling of his potential.
‘Put Your Lips On My Lips’, out March 2022 via the ScentAir Records label, is a strong work, for a dynamic listening experience. Its high points involve a dive into dark, evocative, and cinematic-styled imagery, awash with sentimental and afflictive emotions, as well as a display of varied songwriting that results in strong hooks, and an even stronger album composition.
The album aesthetic is both nostalgic and futuristic. It gives you the feels. It’s slick. It wholeheartedly embraces the role Alien Skin has bestowed upon it. Track order is certainly impeccable here, as the steady beat of “Kiss Kiss Kiss” is a high-flying soundscape meant to ease us into the universe of Alien Skin, and bath the parts of our mind in throbbing neon.
“Cleopatra (I Don’t Love You)” is heavier and darker, with a thick veil of synth strings, underscoring the sweeping momentum. “Formed By Your Hand” adds more somber drama with flourishes of disturbing synth overtones.
Your hunger for a sense of wonder, and your default pensive state will collide in one massive darkwave explosion, with the sound of “This Happy Life”. This is suited for a long, introspective, nighttime drive.
The atmospheric sound created from the throwback synthesizers, and drums, on the title track, “Put Your Lips On My Lips” helps Alien Skin’s 80s, neon-soaked aesthetic transcend from cool musical art to an emotional and visceral state of mind.
Many synthwave artists paint canvasses washed out and colorless. Alien Skin takes that very same canvas and paints it with sensational sonic color. The richness of the layers, the subtle changes to each refrain, and the texture of it all, can easily be found on both “Yes She Does” and the haunting smoothness of “The Greatest Lie”. “Beneath The Funeral Skies” offers yet another interesting juxtaposition, wrapped up in layered harmonies and twisting synths.
“Unborn” is constructed on a percolating synth motif and a busy drumbeat on a runaway rhythm. Quickly, the epic propulsion of the atmosphere dominates the track. Dynamics subtly tone down on “Halfway Cross The Sky”, where Alien Skin’s breathy, mellifluous vocals worm it’s way into your ear: “Today I’m on earth. Tomorrow I’m gone. I’ll follow you halfway cross the sky,” he sings. The immersive atmosphere is yet another consecration of Alien Skin’s skill.
Essentially “Put Your Lips On My Lips” confirms beyond doubt that Alien Skin will still be crafting new paths for darkwave and synthwave to tread, in 2022.