From their inception, Generationals have existed at the convergence of classic style and contemporary technique. Students of an analog school actualized in a digital medium, Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner have always felt most comfortable reveling in this juxtaposition. Grounded in a catalog of infectious pop hooks that feel both familiar and radically new all at once, Generationals mastered their distinct voice as a means to widen the path before them.
Reader As Detective, their new full-length album, weds vintage pop canon and modern pop production in a way this duo has proven incomparably adept. From the cornerstone sample of “I Turned My Back on the Written Word,” (a recontextualization of an unreleased b-side) to the playful synths & stuttered drums of “Dream Box,” and jogging rhythms of “Breaking Your Silence,” Generationals continue to push the envelope by playing by their own rules.
In another example of blending analog and digital, the new video for “Breaking Your Silence” fuses the bright lights of a roving digital billboard with the bucolic countryside complete with farm animals, dirt roads, and an abundance of foliage. A spirited performance by Widmer and Joyner is broadcast on the broad side of the digital box truck, giving a shot of brightness into the landscape. It’s a serene blending of visuals that uses slow pans and movement to lull the viewer into a sense of calm. While chickens, cows, and horses go about their business, the only ones remotely curious in the action in front of them is a pair of curious dogs that chase the truck down the road.
Reader As Detective is the result of purposeful time spent honing Generationals’ craft as progressive songwriters, and “Breaking Your Silence” is arguably the pinnacle of those efforts.