Electronic music rarely sounds lonely – all the bright blasts and bumping beats conjure images of a crowded club, not an empty house. Even one of the chilliest and most solitary electro-leaning albums of recent memory – The Knife’s Silent Shout – featured the dancefloor slayer “We Share Our Mother’s Heart.” Even when artists try to be sad, their digital tools often add at least a hint of communal joy.
MIR’s “TV 2010” falls into the exclusive company of electronic-tracks where the instruments manage to make the song totally lonely. Fittingly, the three-piece band follow the same formula used by the masters of these types of tracks, the folks at the Italians Do It Better label. A late-night keyboard line ushers us into “TV 2010” but any feel-good potential it possessed vanishes with the introduction of the boy-girl-together vocals. Delivered in an emotionless manner for most of the song’s run, MIR would have succeeded in getting across the factory-line feeling of being lonely. Yet they manage to up the isolated-feel by using, of all things, Autotune. Whereas most pop/dance acts deploy the software as a sonic sweetener, MIR subscribe closer to the 808 And Heartbreaks school of thought where the little digital tears rippling through the singing make everything sound sadder. It’s on full display here, the vocals coming off as the audio equivalent of an op-ed columnist wondering if the Internet makes people feel more alone. When MIR finally emote midway through the song, this sudden burst comes off as desperate, an emotional status update or Tweet fated to not catch anyone’s eye. Here’s the soundtrack to your next lonely night playing Farmville.
(UPDATE: Turns out this song is an updated take on an old MIR song, “TV.” That explains the “2010.” Redo or not, this is still one of the best songs recorded this year.)