Dan Boeckner Can't "Lose" with His Cathartic Synth-Rock

Exclaim! Staff Picks

BY Alex HudsonPublished Jan 18, 2024

Dan Boeckner has shifted through various projects throughout the years, but he's always moved along the same sonic continuum. Whether he was with Handsome Furs or Operators, he's specialized in making emotional, politically-minded synth-rock anthems — and that reaches its natural conclusion in a solo project simply called Boeckner.

"Lose," the lead single from the upcoming Boeckner! (out March 15 on Sub Pop), is a cathartic explosion of the synthetic and the organic; the low-end synth pulse wobbles queasily in and out of tune, and the surging krautrock groove eventually crumbles into a cacophony of drum fills, squealing sax and apocalyptic references to "burning in the hot sun" and a "total shutdown."

Boeckner snarls and sneers about isolation and lost love — but despite his sense of alienation, he sounds perfectly at home in a song that distils his talents so nicely.

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