Photo by Shervin Lainez
Dan Boeckner has long played the foil: to Britt Daniel in Divine Fits; to Spencer Krug in Wolf Parade; to his then-wife Alexei Perry in Handsome Furs. He had a way of balancing out those previous bands, adding a pop hook or a subversive stab when needed.
Operators is largely his vision, a New Wave plaything that highlights Boeckner’s particular strength at crafting dark pop. He’s always worked well in the shadows, and Blue Wave–Operators’ debut–has the sound of a dance club run by punks. The synths are all distorted; hooks creep out of unusual corners. Boeckner is a limited singer, but his ghostly yelp fits his songs perfectly. He’s jittery on “Cold Light,” letting the music dance while he swoons away.
Catch Operators live in Studio 1A today at 4 p.m. and tonight at the Sidewinder.